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Rana pleads for bail, says he won't flee

Pakistani-Canadian LeT operative Tahawwur Rana, set to be arraigned along with his accomplice David Headley next week over the Mumbai attacks, made a desperate bid to seek bail on Thursday, pleading before a court in Chicago that he would not escape from the US as it would only force him to live as a fugitive.

world Updated: Jan 21, 2010 16:00 IST

Pakistani-Canadian LeT operative Tahawwur Rana, set to be arraigned along with his accomplice David Headley next week over the Mumbai attacks, made a desperate bid to seek bail on Thursday, pleading before a court in Chicago that he would not escape from the US as it would only force him to live as a fugitive.

Rana and Headley, both 49, who were indicted on January 14 by a federal grand jury on charges of being involved in the Mumbai attacks, were to be arraigned today, but it has now been rescheduled for next week.

The arraignment of Rana will take place on January 25 while for Pakistani-American Headley it has been set for January 27 before Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys in the Northern District of Illinois court, US Attorney's Office spokesman Randall Samborn said.

Rana, meanwhile, told the US District court that his escape from the US would only force him to live as an "international fugitive" and his knowledge of immigration business would not help him run from a "federal indictment", amid prosecutors' opposition to his bail.

Charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists in India, Rana filed in the court his 7-page reply to the government's response to the motion made by him last month seeking revocation of his detention order.

Federal prosecutors, who have been opposing his bail plea, have said Rana's incentive to flee has been "heightened" by the maximum term of life imprisonment he now faces if convicted.