US court denies fresh trial for Tahawwur Rana

Last Updated: Monday, January 30, 2012 - 23:28

Chicago: A US court on Monday rejected Pakistan born Canadian Tahawwur Rana`s plea for a new trial in cases related to the Mumbai and Denmark terror plots, saying there is no reason to believe the court erred in convicting David Headley`s co-accused for aiding Lashkar-e-Toiba.
The District Court said the defendant had failed to
demonstrate that the court erred and a new trial is warranted,
and that the government has presented substantial evidence of
defendant`s knowledge and participation in the acts.

In June last year, after a three-week trial, 50-year-old
Rana was convicted of providing material support to the banned
LeT, and of conspiracy to provide material support to
terrorism in connection with a foiled plot involving Danish
newspaper Jyllands Posten.

He was, however, acquitted of charges that he aided the
terrorists who carried out the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.

Rana had appealed for a new trial in September last year
citing that the jury was confused and that he did not get a
fair trial.

According to documents released by the US District Court
of the Northern District of Illinois, the court applied the
correct legal standard, considering the totality of the
evidence and properly denied the motion to quash.

The documents said that the court correctly concluded
that, even considering Headley`s statements, probable cause
existed.

The court particularly noted a September, 2009
conversation in which Rana and Headley discussed Denmark as a
"target" and said there was significant evidence regarding the
defendant`s knowledge and actions.

In denying the motion, the court pointed to at least three
recorded conversations in which Rana was a participant, his
involvement with Headley`s travel to Copenhagen and his
attempts to get Headley a visa.

The documents said that in his final argument, Rana
concludes "without the support of law or fact" that the
district court erred by ruling against him.

However, the defendant fails to offer a single citation or
any explanation for how the court allegedly erred, said the
court.

The defendant`s "argument is waived because he provides no
authority indicating that the district court erred".

In fact, it said, the defendant`s list of errors is so
cursory that the government has no meaningful ability to
respond.

"In arguing that the government failed to prove its
specific allegations, the defendant Rana simply rehashes his
sufficiency of the evidence argument," the court said.

Among other arguments, defendant argues that he lacked
knowledge of Headley`s true activities, and thus neither he
nor Headley constituted "personnel".

As discussed at length above, the government presented
substantial evidence of defendant`s knowledge and
participation, it said.

Thus, the evidence demonstrated that defendant had
provided both himself and Headley as "personnel," and that
defendant "concealed" the nature of such support.

Based on this evidence, a rational trier of fact could
have, and did, find "the essential elements of the crime
beyond a reasonable doubt," the court concluded holding that
Rana`s argument was without merit.

"Because the government need only have proven that
defendant conspired to, or did, provide one form of material
support, the government need not address defendant`s arguments
about other forms of material support for purposes of this
motion.

"The government, however, submits that the evidence
demonstrated each of the forms of material support alleged in
the Second Superseding Indictment and Bill of Particulars".

PTI



First Published: Monday, January 30, 2012 - 23:28

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