Mumbai terror suspect Headley’s status hearing postponed


Chicago : A Chicago court has postponed till Feb 23 a hearing on the status of the case against Pakistani-American terror suspect David Coleman Headley, charged with scouting targets for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

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The hearing before US Judge Harry Leinenweber in the US District Court of Illinois scheduled for Tuesday “has now been cancelled and postponed till Feb 23,” a spokesman for US Attorney’s office told reporters Monday. The hearing has been postponed “by agreement of both parties,” he said.

Son of a Pakistani diplomat and an American socialite mother, Headley had changed his birth name Daood Gilani on or about Feb 15, 2006, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania “in order to present himself in India as an American who was neither Muslim nor Pakistani,” according to federal charges.

The FBI has charged that Headley made several trips to India to scout targets for the attacks blamed on Pakistan based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and then shared the information with conspirators in Pakistan.

After his arrest in October last year, Headley had first appeared in the court on Dec 9 when he was arraigned at a hearing that lasted a couple of minutes.

He had then pleaded not guilty to charges that he plotted terror attacks against India and Denmark, but waived his right to be indicted by a grand jury. Headley’s presence too was waived by the defence, which means he need not be present for court hearings in the future.

According to Headley’s lawyer John Theis the status hearing is a routine matter where the court would be updated by the defence and prosecution on the progress and status of the case.