Rana arraignment on May 4
A US district court on Wednesday set the arraignment of Tahawwur Hussain Rana, co-accused with LeT operative David Coleman Headley for 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, on May 4.world Updated: Apr 27, 2011 09:34 IST
A US district court on Wednesday set the arraignment of Tahawwur Hussain Rana, co-accused with LeT operative David Coleman Headley for 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, on May 4.
Judge Harry Leinenweber, while fixing the date for Rana's trial said "there are 75 jurors so far."
Rana, a Pakistani-Canadian and a resident of Chicago who owns First World Immigration, will have to appear in court on May 4.
On Tuesday, in a second superseding indictment, US prosecutors charged four additional men in the 26/11 terror attacks that left 166 dead including six Americans.
The new defendants are: Sajid Mir, a handler in the LeT also known as 'Wasi', 'Ibrahim', and 'Sajid Majeed', 'Abu Qahafa', 'Mazhar Iqbal' also known as 'Abu Al Qama'; and a fourth defendant known only by the alias 'Major Iqbal'.
An unnamed individual 'Lashkar Member D' was also mentioned. All are residents of Pakistan and none of them are in US custody.
Randall Samborn, spokesman for the US attorney's office, said he would not comment on whether Headley provided the names of the new defendants or if US officials know where they are.
While Headley was in India for the purpose of conducting surveillance starting in or about July 2008, Major Iqbal communicated with Headley by passing messages to Headley through Tahawwur Hussain Rana, the indictment stated.
The indictment comes about two weeks before the May 16 trial of Rana.
While Rana has not pleaded guilty saying he was duped by Headley, the latter on the other hand has pleaded guilty in scouting targets for the recce and said he had coordinated the planning of the attacks with Rana.
According to Samborn's statement, they were charged with six counts of aiding and abetting the murder of US citizens in India (Counts Three through Eight), and three of them — Mir, Abu Qahafa and Mazhar Iqbal — were charged with conspiracy to bomb public places in India (Count One).
Those seven counts each carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment or death.
All four were also charged with one count of conspiracy to murder and maim in India (Count Two) which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Mir, Abu Qahafa and Mazhar Iqbal were also charged together with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism in India (Count Nine); Mir was charged with conspiracy to murder and maim in Denmark (Count Ten) as well as conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism in Denmark (Count Eleven); and the four new defendants were charged with providing material support to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (Count Twelve).
The maximum penalty on Counts Nine, Ten and Twelve is life imprisonment, while Count Eleven carries a maximum of 15 years in jail.
Rana was indicted by a federal grand jury under 12 counts on February 15 2010 for planning out the attacks, providing material support to LeT to carry out the bombings, and guiding Headley in scouting targets in Mumbai in the process.
Headley, who was originally Daood Gilani, changed and anglicised his name in order to carry out the carnage without disclosing his Pakistani identity.
Rana, who had served as a doctor in the Pakistani Army Medical Corps before he migrated to Canada, is also accused in plotting an attack with Headley on a Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten that published cartoons of Prophet Muhammad.
If convicted, Rana faces a possible life sentence.