Washington: A four-member National Investigation Agency (NIA) team from India has finally gained access to Mumbai terror attack accused, David Coleman Headley, a.k.a Daood Syed Gilani, and has apparently been questioning him since Thursday. Access was finally granted even as Indian and American delegations confabulated with each other in Washington over the contours of a strategic partnership for the future.
|Daood Syed Gilani, a.k.a David Coleman Headley|
The development was confirmed by US national security adviser, Gen James Jones (retd), on Friday. "Yes access (to Headley) has been given. This is an ongoing process and I don't have any detailed information that will be helpful except to say that it is in the hands of right professionals from both countries," Jones informed media sources at the White House.
"We have fulfilled our commitment," he said.
Earlier, it was given to understand that Headley would be questioned in the presence of his lawyer as well as an FBI official. It is not clear if such a process has indeed been followed. It is also not clear as to how long the Indian team will have access to this Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative –whether access is for a limited period of a so many hours or for a number of days or can stretch to the satisfaction of the Indian team.
On this issue Gen Jones said: "I don't know. But the spirit of cooperation and respect for each other's position is alive and well and we have taken the first step - we just have to wait and see whether there is any other request beyond this one."
Sources say a joint statement is expected once the team is through with the questioning.