‘Separate trials would have helped Rana’
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Last Updated: Sunday, June 19, 2011, 13:15
  
Chicago: Tahawwur Rana, who was cleared of involvement in Mumbai attacks but convicted in the Denmark terror plot, would have won the case had there been different trials for charges against him, the Pakistani-Canadian's lawyer has claimed.

"It's like someone tells you that you have cancer. You have survived the cancer but have lost a leg. The good news is that you have survived the cancer," Charlie Swift, Rana's attorney, almost two weeks after a Chicago court delivered its verdict in the case which hit headlines across the globe.

Describing the ruling as "a mixed bag," Swift said it was "a disappointment" that Rana, a military doctor-turned businessman, was convicted on charges relating to the Denmark plot and aiding Pakistan-based terror outfit LeT.

"I'm not terribly surprised because the jury had to consider the spectacle of over 160 people being killed (in the Mumbai attacks)," he said, adding that "had there been two different trials - one for the Mumbai attacks and another for Denmark, we would have won."

Swift spoke about the complicated nature of the trial that dealt with the same conduct on the counts - "support to terrorism", the question of credibility from star witness David Headley and lack of evidence on the Mumbai terror attacks.

50-year-old Rana was acquitted on the Mumbai attack charge but convicted on relatively lesser charges of the Denmark plot and giving support to LeT.

After the verdict, Rana was stoic and did not show any emotion.

"He's awaiting sentencing post-trial and seeing his family," Swift said.

"Things are pretty much the same. Dr Rana is optimistic despite the criminal nature of the case and God has granted him strength to endure this," he said.

"He knows what he did and is not angry with the jury," Swift said.

He also mentioned that everyone in Rana's family was generally disappointed with the verdict, but they were grateful regarding the ruling on the Mumbai terror attack charge.

"It's huge for his family," Swift said. Rana, who has two daughters and a son, faces up to 30 years in jail for the two counts he has been convicted for.

The 12-member jury of the Chicago court found him guilty of being a part of the conspiracy related to bombing a Danish newspaper and providing material support to LeT.

Each of the count for which Rana was convicted carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.

"We would hope the maximum could be 15 years or less because of the same conduct of his convictions," Swift said.

PTI


First Published: Sunday, June 19, 2011, 13:15


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