Washington: Tahawwur Rana’s (a Pakistani-origin Canadian Businessman) plea for his release on account of positive COVID-19 case has been opposed by US authorities, arguing that if he were to flee to Canada, he may escape the possibility of a death sentence in India.
New Delhi: US authorities have rearrested 59 years old Pakistan-born Canadian citizen in Los Angeles on June 10, a key plotter of 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, paving way for his possible extradition.
Assistant US Attorney John J. Lulejian told the court that the Indian government has requested the arrest and detention of Rana according to provisions of the bilateral Extradition Treaty signed in 1997.
India’s request to the US authorities which is still pending and US District Judge Jacqueline Choolijan of the Central District of California scheduled his bond hearing for June 30. His attorney has been asked to submit his plea by June 22 and the federal government’s response is due to June 26.
India had sought Rana’s extradition on charges of forgery and criminal breach of trust as he had allegedly used his immigration firm in the US for making documents that were used by 26/11 mastermind David Headley during his recce visits to Mumbai.
“It is a much-awaited development. This will kickstart the extradition process,” a source in the NIA said on conditions of anonymity.
Even in the last months of the year 2018, senior officials of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had met US authorities and pressed for Rana’s extradition.
V.K Singh who was the External Affairs Minister of India in January 2019 had told the parliament that India was trying to convince US authorities to extradite individuals who plotted 26/11.
The complaint details how Rana and his co-conspirator, David Headley, conspired with Lashkar e Taiba, which carried out the attacks that killed 166 people and injured hundreds more.