India displeased with part of Rana verdict

June 10, 2011 at 6:22 AM
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NEW DELHI, June 10 (UPI) -- India expressed disappointment Friday over a U.S. jury's acquittal of Tahawwur Rana on a conspiracy count relating to the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

A U.S. federal jury in Chicago, after two days of deliberations, Thursday acquitted Rana, a Pakistani native and a Canadian citizen operating an immigration business in Chicago, of conspiracy to provide material support to the Mumbai attacks that killed more than 160 people, including six Americans.

The jury, however, convicted him of participating in conspiracy involving a terrorism plot against a Danish newspaper and providing material support to Lashkar-e-Toiba, a Pakistan-based terrorist group.

India's Ministry of Home Affairs said, in a statement, evidence had been provided in the U.S. court that co-defendant David Headley, another Pakistani native, had advised Rana of his assignment to scout potential targets in India. The statement said the evidence also showed that Headley obtained Rana's consent to open an office to cover his activities and that the two had reviewed how Headley had done surveillance of the targets that were attacked in Mumbai.

"We are, therefore, disappointed that Rana was acquitted on the count of conspiracy to provide material support to the Mumbai terrorist attacks," the statement said.

The ministry said it recognized that Rana was tried in accordance with U.S. laws.

The U.S. Justice Department said Rana faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison on the two counts and remains in federal custody. His sentencing date has not been set.

Headley, who testified against Rana in the case as a government witness, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison after pleading guilty on 12 counts, including aiding and abetting the murders of the six Americans.

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