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Rana given 20,000 documents to prove his guilt

As the US agreed to take "suitable steps" to provide India direct access to Pakistani American terror suspect David Coleman Headley, federal prosecutors asked a Chicago court to deny co-accused Tahawwur Rana's demand for more details about his involvement in terror plots in India and Denmark.

world Updated: Apr 28, 2010 21:21 IST

As the US agreed to take "suitable steps" to provide India direct access to Pakistani American terror suspect David Coleman Headley, federal prosecutors asked a Chicago court to deny co-accused Tahawwur Rana's demand for more details about his involvement in terror plots in India and Denmark.

"To date, the government estimates that it has provided over 20,000 documents, in addition to the various recordings and draft transcripts," they submitted asking the court to deny Rana's plea, who allegedly provided a cover to Headley for scouting targets for 26/11 Mumbai attacks and for a plot to attack a Danish newspaper.

In a 12-page response to Rana's pre-trial motions, prosecutors Tuesday told the US district court in Chicago that the government has already provided "more than sufficient" information to the accused to prepare his defence for trial.

Prosecutors said they had provided and will continue to provide "extensive discovery" relating to Rana's conduct, including his interactions with Headley and his own actions taken to assist Headley in carrying out conspiracies.

"Thus, based on the adequacy of the indictment and the extensive pre-trial disclosures undertaken by the government, the defendant has more than sufficient information from which to conduct his own investigation and prepare his defence," they said.

"Accordingly, the court should deny the defendant's motion for a bill of particulars." Prosecutors said a defendant has a "constitutional right to know the offence with which he is charged, but not to know the details of how it will be proved."

The information already provided to Rana includes copies of recorded conversations and emails between Headley, Rana and other participants in the conspiracies and complete videotaped post-arrest statements of Rana and Headley.

Also provided were Headley's testimony before the grand jury and evidence obtained through grand jury subpoenas and evidence seized during search warrants executed at multiple locations, prosecutors said.

"By seeking more particularity, the defendant essentially is requesting the government to point to the particular evidence of each allegation. This is not a proper purpose of a bill of particulars," prosecutors said.

Rana's lawyer Patrick Blegen had in February filed motions asking prosecutors to provide a "bill of particulars", specific details about the "material support and resources" that the Pakistani-Canadian allegedly provided for terrorist plots in India and Denmark.

Blegen said he is seeking the information so that Rana is "sufficiently apprised" of the scope of the government's allegations and is "adequately prepared" for trial.

Rana has pleaded not guilty to charges that he provided material support to the Mumbai terror attacks as well as a plot to attack a Danish newspaper.