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India ‘disappointed’ over Rana’s acquittal in 26/11 case

June 10
02:45 2011

NEW DELHI: Government today expressed “disappointment” over Tahawwur Hussain Rana’s acquittal by a US court on charges of plotting the Mumbai attacks and said it will soon take a decision on filing a charge sheet against him and LeT operative David Headley in an Indian court. “We are disappointed that Rana was acquitted on the count of conspiracy to provide material support to the Mumbai terrorist attacks,” Secretary, Internal Security in the Ministry of Home Affairs, U K Bansal, said in a statement. Bansal said the government has taken note of the verdict pronounced by a US District Court in the Rana case following the finding by the jury that the Pakistani-Canadian was guilty on two of the three counts. Rana has been found guilty on one count of ‘conspiracy to provide material support to the terrorism plot in Denmark’ and the other of ‘providing material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba’. The jury acquitted Rana of conspiracy to provide material support to the Mumbai terror attacks. Bansal said the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the case against Headley, Rana and others, had decided to wait for proceedings to conclude in the US court before filing a charge sheet in an Indian court against the accused. The NIA has also sought certain documents and evidence that were produced in the Chicago court and expects to receive them. “After examining the verdict in the US court and after reviewing the documents and evidence that it expects to receive, NIA will take a decision on filing a charge sheet against Headley, Rana and others in an Indian court,” he said. Prosecution in the US had produced in the court evidence to show that “Headley had advised Rana of his assignment to scout potential targets in India,” Bansal said. Headley obtained Rana’s consent to open an office of First World Immigration Services as a cover for his activities and Rana advised Headley on how to obtain a visa for travel to India. “Headley and Rana had reviewed how Headley had done surveillance of the targets that were attacked in Mumbai. Evidence was also produced that Rana told Headley that the terrorists involved in Mumbai attacks should receive Pakistan’s highest military honors posthumously,” he said. Bansal said one must remember that Rana was tried in a US court in accordance with the US law. Criminal trials in the US are jury trials and there are special rules governing such jury trials. “While Rana’s lawyers have stated that they will file an appeal against the verdict, it is not yet clear whether the US authorities would also file an appeal against the acquittal on one count of conspiracy,” he said. Bansal’s statement came hours after he said that Rana’s acquittal was not a setback as India does not rely overtly on prosecution of terror suspects in other countries. “I do not see it as a setback as our case (in India) is still under investigation,” he told reporters. Bansal also said prosecution in India against Rana and Headley depends on India’s own investigations which was being done by Indian investigating agencies. “In our handling of terrorism in India, we do not rely overtly on prosecution in other countries. We have to rely on our own strength,” he said. -PTI

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