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26/11 suspect Rana's hearing cancelled

world Updated: Dec 14, 2010 13:35 IST

A status hearing of Pakistani-Canadian terror suspect Tahawwur Hussain Rana, co-accused with Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks case, set to go on trial in Chicago on Tuesday, Feb 14, has been cancelled.

The US attorney's office confirmed cancellation of Monday's hearing behind closed doors to address the defence request to know what evidence the government deems classified, but gave no reason.

However, February trial of Rana, a Chicago businessman, before US district court judge Harry D Leinenweber remains on track. The trial is expected to take a month.

Rana, 49, and Pakistani American Headley, who has confessed to his role in the November 2008 attacks that killed 166 people, were indicted Feb 15 for their "roles in India and Denmark Terrorism Conspiracies".

Rana, who has pleaded not guilty, is accused of providing "material support" for the attack. Rana and Headly were also allegedly part of a plot to attack a Danish newspaper that printed a controversial cartoon about prophet Mohammed.

At a hearing last week to set the trial date Rana's lawyer Patrick W Blegen told Leinenweber that they haven't yet got all of the transcripts of recorded conversations involving their client.

Many of those recordings need to be translated, so the defence wanted time to get that done, but will be ready for the February court date, he said.