[International] ‘Clear extradition of 2008 Mumbai Attacks terror accused Tahawwur Rana to India’, US Government tells District Court

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In District Court Los Angeles, California, the United States administration has urged to clear the extradition process of Tahawwur Rana, Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman, to India for his role in planning the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, PTI reported on Tuesday. 

A warrant was issued for his arrest in India in August 2018.

It is alleged that Rana, a declared fugitive by India, conspired with one David Coleman Headley in the orchestration of the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people, and injured more than 200 people. The prosecutors in the case have said Rana’s Immigration Law Centre in Chicago, as well as a branch office in Mumbai, was allegedly used as a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba’s terrorism activities between 2006 and 2008.

Rana has been held guilty by a Chicago jury court in 2011 for providing material support to a terrorist plot against a Danish news publication and to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist organisation, and was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2013. Rana was released in 2020 on humanitarian grounds when he tested positive for Covid-19, however he was rearrested shortly after in Los Angeles on India’s extradition request.

Further Developments in the case

Last week, on July 15, in a submission before the District Court in Los Angeles, the attorneys of the US administration has also urged the court to 'conclude' that India's extradition request contains sufficient evidence of probable cause on each of the criminal charges for which it seeks Rana’s extradition.

Attorneys, Tracy L Wilkison and Christopher D Grigg, in a proposed order titled Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law, said, 

“Having found that all of the requirements for certification of extradition have been satisfied, the Court certifies the extradition of Tahawwur Hussain Rana to the Secretary of State and commits him to custody pursuant.”

The lawyers contended that Rana was guilty of the charges of criminal conspiracy (Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code), forgery (Section 468), fraudulent use of documents (Section 471) and sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, leveled by the Indian authorities.

“Based on the evidence submitted by India, RANA allowed fraud against the Indian government to occur through the creation and submission of forged documents. The purpose behind such fraud is irrelevant under the Indian criminal provisions,” the document, filed on July 15, said.

However, Rana’s attorneys, John D. Cline and Patrick W. Blegen, however, argued that the ‘government has not satisfied the requirement” of Article 9(3)(c) of the Extradition Treaty that a request for extradition be supported by “such information as would justify the committal for trial of the person if the offense had been committed in the Requested State’.

Mumbai Terror Attack

Ten armed men who were trained by Lashkar-e-Taiba and officials in the Pakistan security establishment launched coordinated terror attacks at 12 locations in Mumbai on November 26, 2008. One of the terrorists, Ajmal Kasab, was caught and later hanged to death in 2012.

[Picture Credits: milichronicle]