Not death, David Headley gets 35-year jail term in US court

World

Pakistani-American LeT terrorist David Headley was today sentenced to 35 years in jail by a US Court for the Mumbai terror attacks with the judge expressing his unhappiness over the prosecution seeking a lighter term.

52-year-old Headley had entered into a plea bargain with the US investigators under which he escaped death sentence.

But many were left surprised when the US prosecutors did not seek life sentence for Headley.

Headley was ordered to serve 35 years, followed by five years of supervised release by US District Judge Harry Leinenweber.

There is no federal parole and defendants must serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.

"Mr. Headley is a terrorist," the Judge said while imposing the sentence in a packed court.

Leinenweber also said, "He commits crime, cooperates and then gets rewarded for the cooperation.

"No matter what I do, it is not going to deter terrorists. Unfortunately, terrorists do not care for it. I do not have any faith in Mr Headley when he says that he is a changed person now.

"I do believe that it is my duty to protect the public from Mr Headley and ensure that he does not get into any further terrorist activities. Recommending 35 years is not a right sentence.

"I will accept the government motion 35 years and sentence of 35 years..."

Asked if he wanted to make a statement, Headley, said, "No your honour"...

In pleading guilty and later testifying for the government at the trial of co-defendant and school time friend Tahawwur Rana, Headley admitted that he attended training camps in Pakistan operated by Lashkar-e-Taiba, on five separate occasions between 2002 and 2005.

In late 2005, Headley received instructions from three members of Lashkar to travel to India to conduct surveillance, which he did five times leading up to the Mumbai attacks in 2008 that killed approximately 166 people, including six Americans, and wounded hundreds more.

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