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A courtroom drawing shows David Coleman Headley, left, as he appears before U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber in federal court for Headley's arraignment in Chicago in December 2009
Verna Saddock—EPA

A court in India Thursday pardoned a U.S. citizen of Pakistani origin convicted of helping to plan the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, reportedly in exchange for information on his involvement and on others accused of similar charges.

David Headley appeared in the Mumbai court via videoconference from the U.S., where he is serving 35 years in prison for his role in the attacks that claimed over 166 lives, reports al-Jazeera.

He had earlier offered to become a witness in the case if he was pardoned, a plea the court accepted.

Headley, who is also accused of plotting to attack a newspaper in Denmark, had pleaded guilty to being a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Pakistani militant group behind the Mumbai attacks, and of scouting many of the locations in the Indian metropolis that were targeted.

He also claimed Pakistan’s official intelligence agency, the ISI, coordinated with LeT operatives — an allegation the Pakistani government has consistently denied.

Seven other members of the terrorist organization are currently on trial in Pakistan, while India hanged the attacks’ lone surviving gunman Ajmal Kasab three years ago.


Read next: Seven Years Later, a Look Back at TIME’s Cover on the 2008 Mumbai Attacks

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