US court postpones Rana’s trial in Mumbai attackBy Gurmukh Singh, IANS
Sunday, January 9, 2011
TORONTO - A US court has put off by three months, at the request of the defence, the trial of Pakistani Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana, charged with helping David Headley plot the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
The trial in a Chicago court, which was scheduled to start Feb 14, will now begin May 16 at the request of Rana’s lawyer.
Rana, 49, who runs an immigration service in Chicago with offices in New York and Toronto, was arrested Oct 3 for plotting to attack the Danish newspaper that published the controversial cartoons of Prophet Muhammad in 2005.
Later, investigators found that Rana was also involved in helping David Headley, a Pakistani American whose real name is Daood Gilani, in plotting the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai terror attack that left 166 people dead.
The two Pakistani-origin men had travelled to India just before the Mumbai attack.
While Headley has admitted his role in the Mumbai attack, Rana says he was duped by Headley.
Rana, who immigrated to Canada in 1997 and acquired Canadian citizenship in 2001, travelled with Headley to Denmark to survey the scene before carrying out the attack on the cartoonist and editor of Jyllands-Posten which published the cartoons.
Rana and his wife Samraz Akhtar live and run immigration business in Chicago, but they have a home in the suburb of the Canadian capital Ottawa where they spend their Islamic holidays with their large family.
Since immigration consultancy has become the favourite profession with Canadians of South Asian and Middle Eastern origin to bring people illegally into the country, officials had initially suspected that Rana might have helped the illegal entry of some dangerous elements into Canada.
Canadians were shocked at the weekend by the arrest of a Middle East couple for fraudulently getting immigration for more than 300 people who still live in Lebanon and other places.
(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)