Washington: Tahawwur Rana, a Canadian businessman of Pakistani origin, is accused of being part of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. He was supposed to be sent to India for trial, but a US court has stopped his extradition for now.
Rana, 62, has challenged the decision of a lower court that rejected his plea to stay in the US. He has taken his case to the Ninth Circuit Court, which is a higher court.
The lower court judge, Dale S Fischer, has agreed to wait for the higher court’s verdict before sending Rana to India. The judge said that Rana has raised some serious legal questions that need to be answered by the higher court.
The US government wanted to extradite Rana as soon as possible, but the judge did not agree. The judge said that the public interest is in favor of Rana and the correct interpretation of the extradition treaty between the US and India.
Rana is linked to David Coleman Headley, a Pakistani-American terrorist who was one of the main planners of the Mumbai attacks. The attacks killed 166 people and injured many more.
The Ninth Circuit Court has asked Rana to submit his argument by October 10 and the US government to reply by November 8.
In his ex parte application for a stay, Rana has made no showing whatsoever, let alone a strong showing, that he is likely to succeed on the merits of his appeal, he argued. Indeed, he simply states that he seeks a stay “to permit his non-bis in idem argument to be heard by the court of appeals.” India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) is probing Rana’s role in the 26/11 attacks carried out by terrorists of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group. The NIA has said that it is ready to initiate proceedings to bring him to India through diplomatic channels.
A total of 166 people, including six Americans, were killed in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which 10 Pakistani terrorists laid a more than 60-hour siege, attacking and killing people at iconic and vital locations of Mumbai.