Canadian businessman from Pakistan, Tahawwur Rana has been arrested again in Los Angeles at the request of extradition by India for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack that killed 166 people, according to US prosecutors.
Rana, 59, was recently released from prison on compassionate grounds after he told a US court that he had tested positive for Covid-19.
He was arrested again in Los Angeles on June 10 after an extradition request by India, where he was declared a fugitive, they said.
Assistant US Attorney John J Lulejian told the court that the Indian government, in accordance with the bilateral Extradition Treaty signed in 1997, had requested the arrest and detention of Rana with a view towards extradition.
Lulejian said India had told the United States that Rana was being prosecuted for a number of violations, including a conspiracy to commit murder, which violated Sections 120B and 302, and murders that violated Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Rana was also charged with conspiracy to fabricate for the purpose of deception and conspiracy to be used as fake documents or original electronic records.
He appeared in court on June 11.
On Friday, US District Judge Jacqueline Chooljian in the US District Court, Central California District, scheduled her hearing for June 30.
His lawyer has been asked to submit his defense on June 22 and the federal government’s response will be due on June 26.
Lulejian said that violations issued by Rana’s arrest warrant were covered by Article 2 of the India-US Extradition Treaty.
An arrest warrant was issued against Rana in India by Poonam A Bamba, District Judge and Session, Special Court of the Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA), on 28 August 2018.
According to federal prosecutors, between 2006 and November 2008, Rana conspired with her childhood friend David Coleman Headley, also known as “Daood Gilani”, and others located in Pakistan to help Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Harakat ul-Jihad -e-Islami, both US-designated terrorist organizations, to plan and carry out Mumbai terrorist attacks.
Rana was first arrested in Chicago on October 18, 2009. After that he went to court in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois where Headley testified for prosecution.
The jury convicted him of a conspiracy charge to provide material support to terrorism in Denmark, and an indictment of providing material support to LeT.
The jury, however, freed Rana from a conspiracy charge to provide material support to terrorism in India.
Harry D Leinenweber, US District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, sentenced Rana to 168 months in prison.
On May 7 this year, Rana submitted a motion for the release of compassion in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
In her movements, Rana claimed that she had tested positive for Covid-19, and her dangerous medical condition put her at extreme risk of life-threatening complications.
Rana also asked the court to reduce his sentence and allow him to return to Canada.
Rana is a Canadian citizen, but she was the residence of Chicago and ran a business in the city at the time of her arrest.
Her application was rejected by Rebecca R Pallmeyer, US District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois on May 18.
He submitted a second petition – a motion renewed for the release of compassion – on June 4. Five days later on June 9, Judge Leinenweber granted Rana’s motion, reduced his sentence for a specified time and ordered his immediate release, while still maintaining all other aspects of his criminal conviction.
Rana is serving her sentence at the Federal Island Penitentiary Island Terminal in San Pedro, California.
Given that he is a Canadian citizen, the Department of Homeland Security has filed immigration detention for him with the Prison Bureau.
He was formally arrested again the following day on June 10. The Prison Bureau currently holds Rana at the facility based on immigration detention.
Luiejian told the court in his submission dated June 10 that an official request for extradition from the Indian government, supported by documents specified in the Agreement, would be presented and completed within the time required in the Agreement.
The 2008 Mumbai attack was one of the most horrific terrorist attacks in India where 166 people, including six Americans, were killed and more than 300 others were injured when 10 heavily armed terrorists from Pakistan created chaos in Mumbai on November 26, 2008.
Pakistani citizen Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the only terrorist who was captured alive, was hanged to death on November 21, 2012.
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