iconimg Tuesday, September 01, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Washington, January 16, 2013
US prosecutors are seeking a 30-year jail sentence for Tahawwur Rana who was found guilty in 2011 of providing material support to perpetrators of the November 2008 Mumbai carnage. Rana was also found guilty of conspiring to provide support to a terrorist attack on a Denmark daily. But he was acquitted of charges of direct involvement in the Mumbai attack. Rana is to be sentenced by a Chicago court on Thursday.

Acting US attorney Gary S Shapiro asked the court for 30 years for Rana in papers filed Monday, saying the sentence must reflect the “nature of defendant’s offenses” and the “seriousness of defendant’s criminal conduct”.

Rana had helped Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley scout the Mumbai targets hit by Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists in November 2008.

He had allowed Headley to set up an office of his immigration business as a front for his scouting trips carried out on Lashkar’s behalf, supervised by the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI.

Headley has confessed to his role in the attacks and deposed in Rana’s trial, giving vivid account of the plot, the perpetrators and the extent of Pakistani involvement.

He pleaded guilty in March 2010 in a deal that saves him from being sentenced to death or being sent to India to stand trial. Indian officials, however, were allowed to question him.

‘Friendship over’
Headley was a liar and ditched his school-time pal Rana, the Pakistani-Canadian’s attorney told a Chicago court Tuesday, claiming that their friendship was over and they would never meet again.

Their “friendship is over. The two individuals will never communicate or see each other again, either in prison or outside,” Rana’s attorney Patrick W Blegen told a Chicago court, ahead of his scheduled sentencing on January 17.

(With agency inputs)