US Rejects Bail Bond Worth $1.5 Bn of ‘Flight-Risk’ 26/11 Accused
The court stated that that he is a flight risk because of the potential death penalty that awaits him in India.
Observing that Tahawwur Hussain Rana is a flight risk, a United States district court, rejected his $1.5 billion bail application, reported news agency PTI. Rana is a Pakistan-origin Canadian businessman who was declared a fugitive in India for his alleged involvement in the 26/11 terror attacks.
According to the PTI report, Jacqueline Chooljian, a Los Angeles District Court judge said:
“(While Rana) has presented a robust bail package and proffered conditions which significantly mitigate the risk of flight, the court cannot find that he has negated the risk of flight and accordingly grants the Detention Request (of the government) on that basis.”
The Flight Risk
Assistant US Attorney John J Lulejian also reportedly told the court:
“Given the stakes, an allowance of bail in any amount would not guarantee Rana’s presence in court. Granting bail would invite the possibility of embarrassing the United States in the conduct of its foreign affairs, straining its relationship with India.”
The court also stated that that he is a flight risk because of the potential death penalty that awaits him in India, which he may escape the same if he flees to Canada.
The federal prosecutor pointed out that that Canada’s extradition treaty with India allows the country to refuse extradition of an offender if the the office has warrants a death penalty in India, but not in Canada, reported PTI. The only way India can then seek an extradition is by assuring Canada that the death penalty would not be executed.
The David Headley Connection
Rana had reportedly been re-arrested on 10 June in Los Angeles following an appeal for his extradition by India. Rana is also said to be a childhood friend of 26/11 attacks convict David Coleman Headley. He is also believed to have, along with Headley and others in Pakistan, helped Laskar-e-Taiba and Harakat ul-Jihad-e-Islami, carry out the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.
In his defence, Rana pointed out that US’ decision to not extradite Headley is inconsistent with and bars his own extradition, the PTI report added. Headley was made an approver in the case and was sentenced to a 35-year prison term in the US.
A total of 166 people were killed and over 300 were injured in the terror attacks in Mumbai on 26 November 2008.
(With inputs from PTI)
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