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Mumbai sentencing: American gets 35 years, judge calls him 'terrorist'

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“Major Iqbal” helped plan and fund the Mumbai attacks, he said.

In light of his cooperation, prosecutors did not seek the death penalty for Headley. In addition, instead of a life sentence, prosecutors urged US District Judge Harry Leinenweber to impose a 30 to 35-year prison term.

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Leinenweber called Headley a “terrorist” and rejected suggestions he had reformed his life.

“I don’t have any faith in Mr. Headley when he says he’s a changed person and believes in the American way of life,” the judge said, according to the Associated Press.

In their sentencing memorandum, prosecutors acknowledged that Headley played “an essential role in the planning of a horrific terrorist attack.”

“There is little question that life imprisonment would be an appropriate punishment for Headley’s incredibly serious crimes,” they said. But they added that his extensive cooperation had been of “significant value” to US anti-terror efforts.

Headley, 52, is unlikely to emerge from prison until he is well into his 80s.

Headley pleaded guilty in March 2010 to all 12 counts in his indictment. The charges included conspiracy to bomb public places in India, conspiracy to murder and maim persons in India, and six counts of aiding and abetting the murder of US citizens in India.

Among the dead were six American citizens.

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