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26/11 trial: Chicago jury to continue deliberations on fate of Tahawwur Rana

Thursday, 9 June 2011 - 10:04am IST | Place: Chicago | Agency: PTI
The jury posed two questions to the defence and prosecution. It asked whether Pasha was involved with LeT or ISI. It also wanted to know whether al-Qaeda terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri was associated with LeT.

The 12-member jury of a federal court here held close-door deliberations for six hours against Tahawwur Rana, charged with involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks and providing material support to Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, and will continue the process today.

The jury posed two questions to the defence and prosecution. It asked whether Pasha (Abdur Rahman, a retired Pakistani Army major), was involved with LeT or ISI.

It also wanted to know whether al-Qaeda terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri was associated with LeT.

After consultations, judge Harry D Leinenweber told the jury that they have to rely on collective memory, which means that they have to depend on material that is available in public domain.

If convicted on the three counts -- helping 26/11 attackers, giving material support to LeT and planning a terror strike in Denmark -- 50-year-old Pakistani-Canadian Rana faces a possible life sentence.

In an emotional appeal, defence attorney Patric Blegen pleaded that his client was a religious man and was duped by his childhood friend and Mumbai attacks accused David Headley who used him for executing his terrorist plans.

"Headley fooled everyone. Don't let Headley fool you. Please do not convict Rana in this case," Blegen pleaded.

He said Rana was simply a businessman who was interested in expanding his business overseas including in Mumbai, Lahore, Karachi and Denmark.

Headley has pleaded guilty and has been spared the death penalty in exchange for his testimony against Rana.




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