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Rana Likely To Be Arraigned On January 21

PTI 17 Jan 2010, 19:52:01 IST
PTI

Canadian-Pakistani Tahawwur Hussain Rana, indicted on charges of helping plan the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, is expected to be arraigned in a court here on January 21 along with co-accused David Coleman Headley. 

According to information with the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, "arraignment notice" for Rana and Headley has been scheduled for January 21 before Judge Harry Leinenweber. 

Separately, "a notice of arraignment and plea" filed on January 15 in the Chicago court lists Rana and Headley as scheduled for "arraignment and the entry of a plea" on Thursday this week. 

A US Attorney's office spokesman said while Rana would be present for the arraignment, it is still uncertain whether Headley would appear in court to respond to the charges.

 On January 14, a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment adding three defendants, including Rana, to charges filed last month against Headley, alleging that they and others participated in conspiracies involving a planned terrorist attack against a Danish newspaper and the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people, including six Americans. 

The 12-count superseding indictment contains the identical charges that were filed against Headley on December 7 while adding Rana as a defendant in three of the counts charging material support of the terrorism plots in Denmark and India, as well as in support of terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Tayyiba.  

Ilyas Kashmiri, allegedly an influential terrorist organisation leader in Pakistan who is alleged to be in regular contact with leaders of al Qaeda, and Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed (Abdur Rehman), a retired major in the Pakistani military have also been indicted. 

Rana's lawyer Patrick Blegen did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the new charges. Headley had in December last year pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against him. A status hearing for him has been set for February 23. Rana, who has been in federal custody since his October arrest, has been denied bond. PTI