US prosecutors have sought a nearly 60-day extension till January 14 to file indictment against Tahawwur Rana, accused of being part of an LeT terror plot in India, saying the FBI needs more time to diligently examine fresh evidence unearthed against him in recent raids.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also submitted fresh set of evidence against Rana, 48, in a sealed envelope and requested the Chicago court hearing the matter not to unseal it.
A motion in this regard seeking time till January 14 from November 19 to file the indictment against Rana was moved yesterday by US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald before Chief Judge James F Holderman in the US District Court, Northern District of Illinois. The court is yet to pronounce its verdict on this issue.
Rana, who was arrested last month by the FBI on charges of being part of a major plan by Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) to carry out terror attacks in India and Denmark, is scheduled to be produced before court on November 19 when his bail plea would come up for hearing.
Earlier on October 30, the court had granted the government's unopposed motion with respect to 49-year-old David Coleman Headley, extending the time in which the government must seek an indictment against him until January 1, 2010.
Headley, a school friend of Rana, was also arrested by the FBI on similar charges last month.
India plans to press for the extradition of both Rana and Headley because of their alleged links to 26/11 attacks.
Noting that this investigation included the interception of numerous telephone and e-mail communications, many of which were in a foreign language, the prosecutors told the court that on October 18 federal agents executed four search warrants at four separate locations, and, among other items of evidence, seized a number of computers.
Stating that the agents are diligently examining the evidence, including that contained in the seized computers, the FBI submitted in a sealed envelope details concerning the investigation and the volume and types of evidence recovered during this probe.
"The government is requesting that this Attachment be sealed so as not to compromise the continuing investigation. Additionally, further investigation regarding the full scope of the two defendants' activities is ongoing and includes gaining assistance from foreign authorities," federal authorities said.