US court yet to decide on accused Pak cab driver`s release

Last Updated: Saturday, January 15, 2011 - 12:08

Chicago: A US court remained undecided on the release of Raja Lahrasib Khan, a Pakistani American cab driver accused of aiding a top al Qaeda commander.

"US District Court Judge James Zagel has not ruled yet on whether he will release him or not," Khan`s attorney Thomas Durkin said.

Khan appeared in a local court yesterday, flanked by chains around his ankles, during a hearing, a part of which was closed for the public.

He had appealed for his release in earlier hearings last year since his attorney required his help in translating voluminous audio recordings in preparing for his trial.

Durkin said that Khan was being kept under segregated conditions at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre, where he is locked up and facilities there were poor.

The defendant, who is also diabetic, is reviewing the court documents from jail as Judge Zagel has not decided whether he will release Khan or not, Durkin said.

Khan was arrested on March 26, 2010, when he was driving his cab. The defendant was accused of sending a few thousand dollars to Ilyas Kashmiri, a top commander of al Qaeda, so that Kashmiri could purchase explosives.

He is also accused of planning to bomb a US stadium over the summer. Last November, Khan wired USD 950 to an unidentified person in Pakistan intended for Kashmiri and referred to the latter as "Lala" because he thought his phones might be tapped.

Khan has been charged with two counts of providing material support to terrorism, with each count carrying a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a fine of USD 250,000.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, January 15, 2011 - 12:08

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