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US releases video of Rana, closing arguments today

world Updated: Jun 07, 2011 09:44 IST

Agencies
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The prosecution and the defence rested Monday in the Mumbai terror trial after jurors were shown the videotaped interrogation of Pakistan-born Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana, who is accused of helping the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in the 26/11 attack.

Roughly 10 minutes of the video was played in Chicago Federal court. Rana, who had waived his Miranda Rights to remain silent, spoke quietly and calmly to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and without his attorney present, ABC News reported.

On the tape, Rana has dark brown hair. Two years later, his hair and beard are both white.

Pakistan-born Canadian businessman, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 50, is charged with three counts of providing material support to terrorists by acting as a messenger and providing a cover for a key figure in the bloody 60-hour siege of country's largest city in which 166 people died.

In response to specific questions from judge Harry Leinenweber, Rana said he was waiving his right to testify in his trial.

Rana, who is accused of providing the cover of his immigration business to confessed Pakistani American terrorist David Coleman Headley for scouting targets for the Mumbai attack by the LeT, was questioned for almost six hours after his arrest Oct 18, 2009.

Some of the questioning involves Rana's ties to Headley aka Daood Gilani, who testified about Rana's role in attack and an attack plan on a Denmark newspaper that published cartoons of Prophet Muhammad in 2005.

Rana's attorneys called only two witnesses, a computer expert and an immigration attorney after federal prosecutors called the last of their eight witnesses earlier in the day. Rana himself did not take the stand.

Closing arguments are expected Tuesday in the trial that has been closely watched around the world.

While discussing Headley's links with the ISI and Lashkar, Rana says, "Probably Lashkar did not know he was working for the ISI."

Headley formally admitted to 12 terrorism charges in March 2010 after prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty or to allow him to be extradited to either India, Pakistan or Denmark to face related charges.

The Mumbai attacks stalled a fragile four-year peace process between India and Pakistan, two South Asian neighbors and nuclear-armed rivals, which was only resumed in February.

Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency has long been suspected of involvement and three ISI agents were named as co-conspirators by US prosecutors following Headley's 2009 arrest at a Chicago airport.