Rana's interrogation video screened at trial for first time

Rana's interrogation video screened at trial for first time

The October 2009 video recording produced by FBI before the court showed that LeT operative Headley had approached ISI to help Rana, a Pakistani-Canadian, get back to Pakistan where he once served as a doctor in army before being declared a deserter.

The 10-minute footage of the six-hour interrogation soon after his arrest on October 18 showed a tired Rana, with grey hair and beard, sitting on a table in a poorly-lit cell and being questioned by two FBI officials, who could be heard but can't be seen in the video.

Headley used his personal links to favour Rana, FBI agent Jeffrey Parsons said while deposing before the court yesterday. Rana, 50, had served in the Pakistani army as a doctor. He served in the Gulf War in Saudi Arabia and got injured there and recuperated in Germany.

After that, Rana was posted in the glacier region in Pakistan where he declined to go following which he was declared a deserter and could not travel to Pakistan again.
Headley, a Pakistani-American, "used his personal links to get me the favour", the FBI agent quoted Rana as stating. Parsons said he had interviewed Rana with another agent Benabides.

In the video shown in the court, Rana said he thought LeT does not know Headley is with the ISI. Parsons also said that Rana mentioned his meeting with al-Qaeda commander Ilyas Kashmiri, believed to have been killed in a US drone attack in South Waziristan last week.

Rana also confirmed to FBI that Headley told him that the Pakistan-American was affiliated with the ISI and that it gave him some weapons. On who the was contact person of Headley in the ISI, Rana replied Major Iqbal.

He also admitted to speaking to Major Iqbal, saying Headley introduced him to the Major. Rana told Parsons that Headley had spent some time with the LeT and JUD and received training from them during his contact with the groups for five or six years.

During previous hearings, Headley had testified that ISI was linked to the 2008 Mumbai terror strikes The defence for Rana rested its case in the court after calling two witnesses but the Pakistani-Canadian himself did not testify.

At the hearing of the terror trial, the defence said employees at Rana's Immigration offices in New York or Toronto did not remember working with Headley. The employees -- Rehana and Kashif Khan -- among others, take calls at the offices. The defence called in a computer forensic expert and an immigration attorney, but Rana waived his right to testify.

Closing arguments by the prosecution and defence are scheduled for tonight.

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