Mumbai: It was the most embarrassing day for NIA . The Pakistani-American terrorist turned approver David Coleman Headley on Saturday put a question mark on the credibility of NIA which is already facing a credit deficit . The 55-year-old Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative told the court that he did not have first-hand knowledge about Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in an alleged fake encounter.
Headly was being cross-examined by Abdul Wahab Khan, the lawyer of Abu Jundal, an alleged key plotter of the 2008 Mumbai siege, via a video-link from the US.
“Lakhvi told me about Ishrat Jahan case but I had prior knowledge about Ishrat Jahan case through newspapers,” he told the court.
During his cross-examination, Headley also claimed that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) did not record his statement on the then LeT chief Muzammil Bhatt earlier in his ‘exact’ words.
“I never told NIA that Lakhvi introduced me to Muzammil as a top commander whose every big operation was a failure. I can’t explain why NIA did not record my statement in exact words. They never read out that statement to me after recording,” Headley claimed.
Stating that he was seeing a copy of his statement to NIA for the first time, Headley added, “I remember most of my statement to NIA so I didn’t read it. I gave details of Ishrat Jahan operation in a statement to NIA but I can’t assign a reason that why they didn’t record that.”
However, defence lawyer claimed that Headley did not tell NIA about Ishrat Jahan. Headley also said that Hafiz Saeed had told him that Bal Thackeray needed to be taught a lesson.
A day ago, in a new twist, Headley testified before an anti-terror court that the then Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had visited his house few weeks after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in 2008 to condole the death of his father.
(With ANI inputs)