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US jurors begin deliberations in 26/11 trial

world Updated: Jun 09, 2011 01:14 IST
Agencies
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US jurors began deliberations in the trial of a Pakistan-born Chicago businessman accused of helping to plot the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The jury in Tahawwur Rana’s trial arrived on Wednesday for their first day behind closed doors. Rana has pleaded not guilty to providing cover for David Headley, an admitted Pakistani-American terrorist.

Headley pleaded guilty to scouting sites for the attack that killed more than 160 people. He testified during Rana’s trial that he took orders from both Pakis-tani intelligence and a militant group.

The case is being closely watched worldwide, especially amid suspicions that Pakistan's government may have been protecting Osama bin Laden before the al Qaeda leader’s May 2 killing by US forces.

Prosecutors presented coded emails and a lengthy conversation, taped by the FBI, between Rana and Headley, as evidence of his involvement and support for the attacks and a second plot on a Danish newspaper.

Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency has long been suspected of involvement in the Mumbai attacks and three ISI agents were named as co-conspirators by US prosecutors.

Rana faces a maximum of life in prison if convicted of one count of providing material support to terrorism in the Mumbai attacks or the charge of providing material support to the banned militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of providing material support in the aborted Danish terror plot.

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