Tahawwur Rana denies involvement in 26/11 attacks: Lawyer

Tahawwur Rana denies involvement in 26/11 attacks: Lawyer


Tahawwur Rana Rana's lawyer Patrick Blegen asserted that the Pakistani-Canadian ''harbours no ill-will'' against Indians.

The statement was the first response from Rana's side after suspicions arose that he and US citizen David Coleman Headley, arrested by the FBI for plotting attacks in India at the behest of Lashkar-e-Taiba, could have links to the Mumbai terror strikes.

"Mr Rana categorically denies involvement in the tragic events in Mumbai of November 26, 2008," Blegen said in a statement here.

"He harbours no ill-will against the people of India and continues to have close family ties to the country. In recent years, Mr Rana's career has been geared toward assisting members of the Hindu and other communities to become legalised and established in the United States and Canada," he said.
While US authorities have accused Rana and Headley of plotting attacks in India and Denmark, Indian officials are investigating their involvement in 26/11 attacks. However, so far there has been no evidence in this regard.
"In recent years, Mr. Rana's career has been geared toward assisting members of the Hindu and other communities to become legalized and established in the United States and Canada. Mr. Rana has worked hard and travelled extensively to attempt to build his business. The Indian communities in Chicago, New York and Toronto are a testament to his hard work.''
Last Monday, Rana's younger brother, Abbas Rana, who is a reporter with The Hill Times weekly which exclusively covers the Canadian parliament, had said that his brother was innocent.

Abbas Rana had told his publisher Jim Creskey that "to the best of my knowledge, these charges are false.
"I know my brother. I love my brother. He's a man of integrity, he's honest, and he's a hard-working person.''

Rana, who has been running an immigration consultancy service in Chicago for the past 10 years, had travelled to India with Headley just before the Mumbai attacks.

Rana, 48, was arrested Oct 3 for plotting to attack the Danish newspaper that published the controversial cartoons of Prophet Mohammed in 2005.
Rana, who immigrated to Canada in 1997 and acquired Canadian citizenship in 2001, was arrested along with David Coleman Headley - whose real name is Daood Gilani - for the plot.

President Barrack Obama is despatching a high-level FBI team to India in a week to share "all details" of its probe into the plans and network of Headley and Rana, National Security Adviser M K Narayanan said yesterday.
Rana's bail hearing is scheduled for December 2 when he would offer more than a million dollars in bond security.
Blegen said witnesses would testify about Rana's clean record and reputation as a businessman as the defence seeks to free him from jail. "They will testify he is not a risk of flight, has ties to the community, that he is regarded as an honest and a trustworthy businessman and has no record whatsoever," the lawyer said.

"Mr Rana has worked hard and travelled extensively to attempt to build his business. The Indian communities in Chicago, New York and Toronto are a testament to his hard work," the statement said.
A city resident for the last 10 years, Rana owns an immigration business that has offices in Mumbai.
He also owns a slaughterhouse near here and a grocery store on the city's predominantly Indian-Pakistani neighbourhood Devon Avenue.

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