New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: A US court on Friday rejected Tahawwur Rana’s USD 1.5 million bail application and described him a flight risk. Rana, a Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman, was declared a fugitive in India over his connections in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Rejecting his bail plea, US District Court Judge in Los Angeles Jacqueline Chooljian, in her 24-page order dated July 21, described him a flight risk and said that allowing him bail would not guarantee his presence in court. The US government also argued that if he will be taken to Canada, he may escape the possibility of the death penalty in India.

"Given the stakes, an allowance of bail in any amount would not guarantee Rana's presence in court. Granting bail would invite the possibility of embarrassing the United States in the conduct of its foreign affairs, straining its relationship with India," Assistant US Attorney John J Lulejian had told the court as reported by news agency PTI.

While Rana "has presented a robust bail package and proffered conditions which significantly mitigate the risk of flight, the court cannot find that he has negated the risk of flight and accordingly grants the Detention Request (of the government) on that basis," Judge Chooljian said as reported by PTI.

“For someone facing conspiracy to murder and murder charges in India, the incentive to flee to avoid extradition is strong”, the court added.

"There is no question in the court's mind that given Rana's significant foreign ties, particularly to Canada, and the potential death penalty awaiting him in India if he is extradited on and convicted of the most serious pending charges, he is a flight risk," the court said.

According to the federal prosecutors, between 2006 and November 2008, Rana conspired with David Headley, also known as "Daood Gilani", and others in Pakistan to assist Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Harakat ul-Jihad-e-Islami, both US-designated terrorist organisations, to plan and carry out the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

Rana, 59, was re-arrested on June 10 in Los Angeles on an extradition request by India for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack in which 166 people, including six Americans, were killed.

The 2008 Mumbai attack was one of India's most horrific terrorist attacks in which 166 people were killed and over 300 injured as 10 heavily-armed terrorists from Pakistan created mayhem.


(With PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Talib Khan