US Opposes 26/11 Convict’s Bail, Says He is a Flight Risk
The Assistant US Attorney told the court that granting Tahawwur Rana bail could strain relations with India.
The United States opposed bail for 26/11 convict Tahawwur Rana who was rearrested in Los Angeles on 10 June. Arguing against Rana’s bail, Assistant United States Attorney John J Lulejian told a federal court that the Pakistan-origin Canadian businessman was a flight risk. Lulejian argued that if they released Rana, he was likely to flee to Canada and escape the possibility of a death sentence in India, reported news agency PTI.
Linked to Pakistan's spy agency ISI, Tahawwur Rana was recently released from jail after he tested positive for COVID-19. After requests by Indian authorities, Rana was picked up by the police in LA, re-arrested and sent to jail. Lulejian told the court that as per the the Extradition Treaty signed between the US and India in 1997, the Indian government requested for the re-arrest of Tahawwur Rana.
The Assistant US Attorney also told the court that granting Rana bail would invite the possibility of embarrassing the United States in the conduct of its foreign affairs, straining its relationship with India, the report added.
Stating that India seeks Rana’s arrest on many offences, including his role in the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai that killed over 166 people, Lulejian said the court should detain him without bond.
A hearing in the case is scheduled for 30 June. Rana’s attorney has been asked to submit his plea by 22 June and the US government has been asked to submit its response by 26 June.
Rana was convicted in the US in 2013 and ordered to serve a 14-year prison term. According to his record in the Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate locator, he was serving his sentence at San Pedro, California. Tahawwur Rana was due for his release in 2021, after serving nine years in prison.
In 2018, an NIA team from India was in the US to seek Rana’s extradition. Assistant US Attorney Lulejian reportedly told the court that the offences for which Rana's arrest warrant was issued were covered by the Extradition Treaty.
(With inputs from IANS and PTI)
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