Rana`s trial expected to begin on November 1
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Last Updated: Tuesday, May 11, 2010, 22:35
  
Chicago: The trial of Pakistani-Canadian terror suspect Tahawwur Rana, charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks, is expected to begin on November 1, with a US district court judge here saying today that the process should start "sooner than later."

During Rana's status hearing in the district court, Judge Harry Leinenweber set November 1 as the tentative date for commencing the trial of the 49-year-old terror suspect, after lawyers for both prosecution and defence agreed to it.

Judge Leinenweber said that the trial should begin "sooner than later" and fixed June 17 as the next date for Rana's status hearing.

Wearing an orange jumpsuit with his legs shackled, Rana was also present in the court during the hearing which lasted 25 minutes.

Rana's lawyer Patrick Blegan said that even Rana would like his trial to start "sooner than later."

His co-accused, LeT operative David Coleman Headley, had pleaded guilty in March to plotting the Mumbai terror attacks.

Rana had stuck to his 'not guilty' plea during the last hearing.

Judge Leinenweber, during the hearing, observed that it was important to block the dates for the trial in advance.

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.

Federal prosecutors said the government already provided "more than sufficient" information in the form of over 20,000 documents for him to prepare his defence for his trial.

According to the calendar in the case, the government will provide classified discovery by June 1 and Leinenweber has set a date of September 20 for a hearing to determine what classified information can be admitted as evidence at trial.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, May 11, 2010, 22:35


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