Mumbai attack at Pak behest, claims Rana

Mumbai attack at Pak behest, claims Rana

Accused gave material support to ultras

Mumbai attack at Pak behest, claims Rana

Pakistan-born Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana, accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case, has claimed before a court here that he provided 'material support' to the terrorists at the behest of the Pakistan government and its spy agency ISI and not the terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba.

The court documents, which have been published by Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail ahead of Rana’s trial that is set to begin on May 16,  reveal that the accused in his defence, which was struck down by the Illinois court, said: “The ISI has the authority to act in India to protect Pakistan’s national interests.”

Trying to invoke “Public Authority Defence” wherein a defendant tries to find shelter under the arguments that his acts were done at the behest of a government, Rana claimed that he “acted under the authority—whether actual or apparent— of the Pakistani government and the ISI.” Rana also relied on the grand jury testimony of the co-accused Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT)  operative David Headley, likely to appear as witness against him, who claimed involvement of one Major Iqbal in funding the terror attacks.

“Therefore, he contends, he relied on a public authority, one that he argues is immune from criminal prosecution in US courts under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA)  when he engaged in activities such as allowing Headley to open a First World Immigration office in Mumbai,” the order of Judge Harry D Leinenweber said.

The court rejected arguments put forth by Rana, saying that his defence that “the Pakistani government and ISI officials sanctioned his violations of US Federal Law is unreasonable. Defendant acted not in Pakistan or India, but rather in the United States.”

“He cited no authority holding that a foreign government official can sanction an individual living and acting in the United States to violate federal law,” the court said.
The trial of Tahawwur Hussain Rana is scheduled to begin on May 16 and is likely to be held for a month.

Rana, 49,  is accused of helping David Headley, a US citizen in setting up his office in Mumbai which the latter used as cover for his trips to the city for identifying targets.

Trial on May 16

Hussain Rana and his accomplice David Headley are likely to admit during their trial in the US next month that they masterminded the Mumbai terror attack at the behest of Pakistan’s spy agency ISI, according to a report.  The trial of Rana and Headley begins in Chicago May 16.

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