India likely to get access to Rana after Chicago trial

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New Delhi: India is likely to get access to Tahawwur Hussain Rana, the Pakistani Canadian accused in the Mumbai terror attack case, after completion of his trial in an American court next month.

The request to question Rana, a key accomplice of Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley, by India has been sent to the authorities in the US after gathering evidence about his involvement in the planning of the 26/11 attacks.

It was sent under the Mutual legal Assistance Treaty between the two countries.

"The trial begins on May 16 and based on evidence. We expect a very speedy conclusion of the trial," Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai told reporters here.

Pillai said one should wait for the results of the Rana`s trial before making any conclusion on the case.

India hopes that Rana`s trial in a Chicago court will be completed in two weeks.

Rana, arrested in Chicago over the Mumbai attacks, in the wake of his claim that he provided "material support" to 26/11 terrorists at the behest of Pakistani government and ISI.

India will also seek copy of Rana`s passport and other evidence found by the US authorities against him.

After getting access to Rana, India may pursue with US authorities for his extradition as he has not entered into a plea bargain with the American authorities like Headley, sources said.

Sources said Rana`s statement has only confirmed further what India has always maintained about the involvement of Pakistan`s ISI in the 2008 terrorist attack.

Rana in his defence had said his "alleged illegal acts of providing material support to terrorists — were done at the behest of the Pakistani government and the ISI, not the Lashkar terrorist organisation".

49-year-old Rana is accused of helping David Headley in setting up his office in Mumbai which the latter used as cover for his trips to the city for identifying targets.

Earlier, the US had granted India access to Headley, an LeT operative who has confessed to plotting the Mumbai attacks.

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