'Convict Rana, give justice to those killed in 26/11 attack'

Mumbai terror attacks 2008 Tahawwur Hussein
Chicago, June 8: Observing that those who died in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks demand justice, federal prosecutors have urged the jury of a Chicago court to convict Tahawwur Hussein Rana as there is overwhelming evidence of his involvement.

There were overwhelming evidence of not only him having the knowledge of but also assisting and providing material support to his childhood friend David Coleman Headley in carrying out attack in November 2008 in which more than 160 people including six US nationals were killed, the prosecutors said.

"What happened in Mumbai could have happened in Copenhagen. 164 people died in flurry of bullets (in Mumbai). Such horrific acts take place with help of a number of people... weather you carried a gun or did something helped in the planning or had the knowledge," US attorney Daniel Collins said making final closing argument at a federal Chicago court bringing an end to the fortnight-long Rana's trial.

"Those who died in Mumbai demand justice. You (the jury) will find the truth... this man knew that his trained terrorist friend (David Coleman Headley) was bent on killing people," Collins said urging the 12-member jury in his final arguments in a packed court room.

Not only media persons from various parts of the world, but also government officials, community leaders and Rana's family members were present in the court.

Sitting in the court room, Rana, who has maintained silence throughout the proceedings looked a bit tensed as the trial came to end.

This was unlike in the morning, when by body language he appeared to be confident, was seen smiling and waving at his family members sitting in the audience.

Rana's attorney, Charlie Swift later told reporters that his client is now praying.

"He has faith the American system. He has faith in God," he said when asked about the mental setup of Rana at the end of the trial proceedings. Now it is up to the 12-member jury to give its verdict.

Rana has been charged in three counts of helping and assisting in terrorist plots related to 26 /11, attack on a Danish newspaper in Copenhagen and providing material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

Before giving their verdict, the jury must arrive at a consensus.

Those aware of the American judicial system said the jury can give its verdict as early as Wednesday or Swift said "we could still be discussing about it two weeks from now."

The jury is scheduled to begin their close door meeting today from 09.30 AM local Chicago time (2000 IST).

Collins accused the defense attorney Patric Blegan of not focusing on the real issue of whether Rana was involved in the terrorist acts and instead was bent upon proving that Headley was a liar.

The US attorney said Rana knew that his trained terrorist friend (Headley) was seeking death and violence in Copenhagen.

"Does it make sense to send terrorist (Headley) half a way around the world to check about the advertisement in a newspaper, which can be done over phone or over the internet? Why he is seeking advertisement for a business that doesn't exist?" Collins asked.

Arguing that Rana knew about the terrorist attack and let Headley use his business for cover of the Mumbai attack; besides helping his childhood friend in his planning and praising the men who conducted the terrorist operation in Mumbai by suggesting that they be awarded with the highest award of Pakistan, the US attorney urged the jury to convict him for the role he played.


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