On an extradition request by India, Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana has been arrested in Los Angeles for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, in which 166 people were killed, according to the US prosecutors.
Rana, 59, was recently released from jail on compassionate ground after he told an American court that he has tested positive for Coronavirus. He was rearrested in Los Angeles on June 10 following an extradition request by India, where he is a declared fugitive, according to the prosecutors.
The Indian government has requested the arrest and detention of Tahawwur Rana as per the bilateral Extradition Treaty signed in 1997, with a view towards his extradition, said Assistant US Attorney John J Lulejian in the court.
“India has informed the US that Tahawwur Rana is being prosecuted for a number of offences, including the conspiracy to commit murder. He made an initial court appearance on June 11,” said Lulejian.
Jacqueline Chooljian is the US District Judge in this case in the court of Central District of California. He scheduled his bond hearing for June 30. His attorney has been asked to submit his plea by June 22. While the American government’s response is due by June 26.
“The India-US Extradition Treaty covers the offences for which Tahawwur Rana’s arrest warrant was issued,” said Lulejian.
In India, the National Investigative Agency’s (NIA) special court had issued an arrest warrant against Tahawwur Rana in India by, in August 2018.
Rana conspired with his childhood friend David Coleman Headley and others in Pakistan to help Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Harakat ul-Jihad-e-Islami, both US-designated terrorist organisations, to plan and carry out the Mumbai attacks between 2006 and November 2008, according to the prosecutors.
Rana was first arrested in Chicago in October 2009. Thereafter he went to trial in the US, where Headley testified for prosecution.
The jury convicted him of one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism in Denmark, and one count of providing material support to LeT.
However, Rana was acquitted by court of one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism in India.
(With PTI inputs)