US had once financed my trip to Pakistan, says Headley

Wednesday, Mar 23, 2016,10:32 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Mumbai | Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley today said that the US had once financed his trip to Pakistan and also claimed that he had donated about Rs.70 lakh to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) till 2006, two years before the Mumbai attacks.

The 55-year-old terrorist, who was cross-examined via a video link from the US, told the court that after his arrest in 1998, The Drug Enforcement Authority (DEA) of the US financed my trip. I was in contact with DEA then, but it is not true that between 1988 and 1998 I was providing information or assisting DEA.

Headley, who is serving a 35-year jail term in the US and has turned approver in the 26/11 case, contradicted reports that he had received money from the LeT. I never received money from LeT this is complete nonsense. I gave funds to LeT myself. I had donated more than 60 to 70 lakh Pakistani Rupees to LeT throughout the period I was associated with them.

My last donation was in 2006, Headley told the court. He clarified that the money given was not for any specific operation of LeT, but was a general donation primarily for many things. These donations were from my business in New York and from the income that I earned by selling and purchasing some properties in Pakistan.

I don’t remember if I informed US authorities about my donations to LeT, he said. Picking holes in the credibility of Headley’s evidence, 26/11 attack plotter Abu Jundal’s lawyer today argued that the terrorist, who faced conviction twice in the past before the Mumbai strikes, had indulged in criminal activities and violated his plea bargain agreements with the US government.

Headley was convicted in 1988 and 1998 by a court in the US for alleged drug smuggling, Jundal’s lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan said. However, on both the occasions, Headley had entered into a plea bargain with the American government and got off with a lighter sentence.

One of the conditions of my plea agreement was that I should not take part in any criminal activity. I violated this condition by going to Pakistan and joining the LeT, Headley told special judge G A Sanap, who is hearing the 26/11 terror case against Jundal in a sessions court here.
Headley told the court that after completing his four year sentence in 1988, he was involved in drug smuggling from 1992 to 1998 and had visited Pakistan during this period. Headley was examined by the prosecution in February this year for five days and the court later adjourned the case for his cross-examination, which started from today.

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