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Tahawwur Rana’s extradition hearing delayed again

A courtroom artist's drawing of Tahawwur Rana. File   | Photo Credit: AP

For third time in a row, the extradition hearing of Tahawwur Rana, key accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, has been postponed by a U.S. court. The hearing has now been pushed to April 22.

The earlier dates fixed for the proceedings were January 8 and then February 21.

An order by U.S. magistrate judge Jacqueline Chooljian said, “The extradition hearing in this case is continued to April 22, 2021, at 1:30 p.m.; Relator Tahawwur Hussain Rana shall file his opposition to the request for extradition by not later than February 1, 2021; and the United States shall file its reply memorandum in support of the extradition request by not later than March 22, 2021.”

In accordance with the provisions of the extradition treaty between India and the U.S., India first submitted a diplomatic note formally requesting Rana’s extradition on December 4, 2019.

Rana is wanted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the 2008 terror attack case that claimed 166 lives including six Americans.

He was released from prison in June last year after an Illinois court commuted his jail sentence (scheduled to get over in September 2021) after he tested positive for COVID-19. Following his release he was provisionally arrested by the federal police in the wake of the pending extradition request from India and is currently lodged in a Los Angles prison.

Editorial | Closer to punishment: On Tahawwur Rana's role in 26/11 attacks

Rana has moved more than one application in the U.S. court seeking bail on grounds of health and challenged his extradition to India. The various applications filed by Rana have stalled the hearing of the extradition proceedings.

Unlike his school friend and prime accused David Coleman Headley, Rana did not enter into a plea bargin with the U.S. authorities that would have barred his extradition to India.

The Pakistani-Canadian citizen, who was arrested in 2009 was convicted by a U.S. court in 2013 for providing material support to the Pakistan based terror outfot- Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

The extradition document filed by U.S. authorities said that in September 2009, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) intercepted a conversation between Rana and Headley that the “nine LeT attackers who had been killed during the attacks should be given Pakistan’s highest military honor.”

Ten armed men who were trained by Pakistan based terror outfit Laskar-e-Taiba (LeT) and officials in the Pakistan security establishment launched coordinated terror attacks at 12 locations in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, killing 166 people. The tenth LeT terrorist, Ajmal Kasab, was caught, faced trial and later hanged to death at a Pune prison in 2012.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 5:10:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tahawwur-ranas-extradition-hearing-delayed-again/article33473050.ece

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