Chicago: A US court has set Nov 1 to begin the trial of Pakistani-Canadian terror suspect Tahawwur Hussain Rana, charged with involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks.
The trial process should start "sooner than later", US district court judge Harry Leinenweber said Tuesday after the prosecution and Rana`s lawyer both agreed to the date suggested by him. The trial is expected to last four weeks.
Leinenweber also fixed June 17 as the next date for the status hearing of Rana, 49, who unlike Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative David Coleman Headley, has pleaded `not guilty` to the charges providing material support for the Mumbai attacks.
Co-accused Headley had pleaded guilty in March to his role in scouting targets for and plotting the Mumbai terror attacks in a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty.
He is expected to testify against Rana, who is accused of letting Headley pose as an employee of his immigration business to use as cover for his travel overseas.
Rana appeared in the court wearing an orange jumpsuit with his legs shackled for the hearing, which lasted 25 minutes. Rana had filed several pre-trial motions asking the government to provide him "specific" details of the kind of "material support" he is charged with providing to terror acts in Mumbai and Denmark, citing the need to be better prepared for trial.
But the government had objected to his demand, saying the superseding indictment provides more details than required and that the prosecution too continues to provide extensive discovery. Prosecution is scheduled provide classified discovery by June 1.
Federal prosecutors said the government has already provided "more than sufficient" information in the form of over 20,000 documents for him to prepare his defense for his trial.
Leinenweber has set Sep 20 for a hearing to determine what classified information can be admitted as evidence at trial.