- Tahawwur Rana, 26/11 terrorist plotter, a declared refugee in India
- Rana, 59, a friend of Pakistani-American LeT terrorist David Headley
- The U.S. court rejects a $ 1.5 million bail request and calls it a flight risk
A US court denied the $ 1.5 million Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana, a Pakistani businessman who was declared a refugee by India for participating in the Mumbai terrorist attack in 2008, and identified him as a flight risk.
Rana, 59, a childhood friend of David Coleman Headley, was arrested again on June 10 in Los Angeles following an extradition request from India for his involvement in the Mumbai terrorist attack in 2008, in which 166 people, including six Americans, were killed.
He is a declared refugee in India.
Los Angeles District Court judge Jacqueline Chooljian denied Rana bail in her 24-page ruling on July 21, saying he was a flight risk.
The US government described Rana as a flight risk and refused to release him on bail. She argued that if he fled to Canada, he could avoid being sentenced to death in India.
"Given the stakes, bailing up any amount would not guarantee Rana's presence in court. Bailing out would invite the opportunity to embarrass the United States in the conduct of its foreign affairs and burden its relationship with India," US attorney John J Lulejian said the court had said.
On the other hand, Rana's lawyer told the court that the defendant of November 26 was not a flight risk and suggested a $ 1.5 million bond for his release.
In his defense, Rana has argued that the US decision not to extradite his conspirator David Headley to India is inconsistent and prevents his extradition.
While Rana "presented a robust bail package and conditions offered that significantly reduce flight risk, the court cannot determine that it has negated the flight risk and accordingly granted the (government) application for detention on this basis," Judge Chooljian said .
For someone exposed to a murder and murder conspiracy in India, the incentive to flee to avoid extradition is great, according to the court.
Rana, born in Pakistan, graduated from Army Medical College there and served as a doctor in the Pakistani army for more than a decade, but was eventually abandoned.
He is currently a Canadian citizen, but lived in Chicago, where he had a business. According to the court records, he has also lived and traveled in Canada, Pakistan, Germany and England and speaks seven languages.
If he flees to Canada, he could effectively avoid being subjected to the death penalty, since the extradition contract of such a country with India includes a provision that allows refusal to extradite if the offense for which extradition is sought is in India with will be punished with death and not death in Canada unless India assures that a death penalty will not be enforced, the prosecutor said.
"There is no question that Rana poses an aviation risk given his significant foreign ties, particularly to Canada, and the potential death penalty that awaits him in India if extradited and convicted of the most pending charges." the court said.
According to court records, Rana performed a positive COVID-19 test on April 28, 2020 at Terminal Island in Los Angeles, but was asymptomatic and has since recovered.
In the last three tests on June 13th, 15th and 25th it was tested negative.
Between 2006 and November 2008, Rana conspired with David Headley, aka "Daood Gilani", and others in Pakistan to support Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Harakat ul-Jihad-e-Islami between 2006 and November 2008. both terrorist organizations designated by the United States to plan and carry out the Mumbai terrorist attacks.
Pakistani-American LeT terrorist David Headley was involved in the conspiracy of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack. He was appointed approver in the case and is currently serving 35 years in the United States for his role in the attack.
India is seeking arrest for a number of crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit counterfeiting for fraud, and murder in accordance with the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He is sought for his role in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack.
The Mumbai attack in 2008 was one of the most terrifying terrorist attacks in India, killing 166 people and injuring over 300 when 10 heavily armed terrorists from Pakistan caused chaos.
Pakistani citizen Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the only terrorist captured, was hanged to death on November 21, 2012.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)