Rana`s trial expected to begin on November 1

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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