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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Ranas: US court verdict on 26/11 accused Tahawwur Rana’s extradition likely in May | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Almost 15 years since the 26/11 attacks shook Mumbai, killing 166 people, the National Investigation Agency — which is probing the role of David Coleman Headley, a US citizen of Pakistani origin, in the larger conspiracy — can look forward to a decision by the US court on extradition of Headley’s aide and financier Tahawwur Rana, a Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman currently in US custody, to India.NIA sources said the US district court in the Central District of Los Angeles, California, had recently indicated that a verdict on Rana’s extradition would be out by May 20. NIA is keeping itself in readiness for possible extradition proceedings, in the event of the US court ruling in its favour on the basis of the evidence the agency has submitted against Rana, through the US department of justice.While Headley was also chargesheeted in the NIA case, he cannot be extradited on account of a plea bargain he had entered into with the US attorney. Headley pleaded guilty on all charges including his role in 26/11, but the plea bargain agreement has insulated him from death penalty as well as extradition to India, Denmark or Pakistan.Rana is wanted by NIA for having knowingly submitted forged papers to secure an Indian business visa for Headley’s visits here, which he used to conduct reconnaissance of various 26/11 targets. Rana, as per a US court document, was aware that Headley was working for LeT. By assisting him in securing a visa to India with forged papers and affording Headley a cover by misrepresenting him as an aide in his immigration business looking to set up operations in Mumbai, Rana was supporting the terrorist outfit and its associates, it was alleged. Rana also knew of Headley’s meetings with his LeT handlers, what was discussed, and the planning of 26/11 attacks, including some of the targets.

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