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Tahawwur Rana's plea for fresh trial rejected

world Updated: Jan 31, 2012 11:24 IST

A US court has rejected the plea of a fresh trial by Pakistan-born Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana, convicted of aiding terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which is blamed for November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

The Chicago district court rejected the plea of Rana, a boyhood friend of Pakistani American terrorist David Headley, saying there was no reason to believe the court had erred as the government had presented substantial evidence of Rana's knowledge and participation in the alleged acts.

In June last year, after a three-week trial, Rana, 50, was acquitted of charges in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, but convicted of providing material support to the banned LeT for a foiled plot to attack Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten for publishing cartoons of Prophet Mohammed.

The court had applied the correct legal standard, considering the totality of the evidence and properly denied the motion to quash, the district court ruled rejecting Rana's September appeal for a new trial claiming that the jury was confused and that he did not get a fair trial.

The court correctly concluded that, even considering Headley's statements, probable cause existed, according to documents released by the US District Court of the Northern District of Illinois.

The court particularly noted a September 2009 conversation in which Rana and Headley discussed Denmark as a "target" and said there was significant evidence regarding the defendant's knowledge and actions.

The court pointed to at least three recorded conversations in which Rana was a participant, his involvement with Headley's travel to Copenhagen and his attempts to get Headley a visa.

The documents said that in his final argument, Rana concludes "without the support of law or fact" that the district court erred by ruling against him, but fails to offer a single citation or any explanation for how the court allegedly did so.

The defendant's "argument is waived because he provides no authority indicating that the district court erred".

"Because the government need only have proven that defendant conspired to, or did, provide one form of material support, the government need not address defendant's arguments about other forms of material support for purposes of this motion."

"The government, however, submits that the evidence demonstrated each of the forms of material support alleged," it said.