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Headley pleads not guilty

Chicago, Dec. 9 (Agencies): A Chicago man accused of being a scout in the 2008 attacks in Mumbai today pleaded not guilty to the charges during his first court appearance since his October arrest by US authorities.

David Headley, 49, who is a Lashkar-e-Toiba operative, was earlier charged with helping plan the Mumbai terror attacks. He has been cooperating with authorities as they investigate his role in the Mumbai attacks which killed 166 people. Headley can change his plea at a later date.

The Pakistan-American also pleaded not guilty to the charge of plotting to attack a Danish newspaper for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. The next hearing of the case will be held on January 12.

Headley, who appeared in court in an orange jumpsuit and shackled at the ankle, has been charged with six counts of criminal conspiracy.

After the hearing, Headley’s attorney John Theis told reporters that his client had pleaded not guilty to all 12 counts against him. “Over the next several weeks and months we will give the evidence,” he said outside the court. On being asked whether Indian authorities can get access to Headley, he said: “If they make any such request, we will deal with it when it comes to us”.

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