Mumbai 26/11 plotter Rana arrested, NIA set to overcome double jeopardy clause
New Delhi, June 20: Tawwahur Rana, a Pakistani born Canadian national who was convicted of offences relating to the Mumbai 26/11 attack has been arrested in Los Angeles.
Sources tell OneIndia that India has completed the documentation formalities with the US authorities for his smooth extradition. Evidence relating to Rana has been shared with the authorities, the source also said.
The matter was discussed during a visit by a team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to the US on December 13, 2018. Rana has been charged for providing material support to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. The extradition request made by India says that he is a terrorist of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and was part of the terror plot to attack the National Defence College, Delhi and Chabad Houses.
India has sought his extradition on charges of forgery and criminal breach of trust. This was done because a double jeopardy clause in the US prevents Rana from being tired twice for the same offence.
During the discussion, the NIA quoted that there is nothing that prevents Rana from being sent to India unlike Headley who has a plea bargain deal with the US. The NIA officials said that according to the chargesheet filed by them Rana had forged documents along with Headley as per the instructions of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and this was a punishable offence.
However, since Rana is sentenced to a 14-year jail term in the US, the Department of Justice raised the question of double jeopardy. They sought to know from the NIA whether sentencing Rana twice would not lead to double jeopardy.
No Indian agency has questioned Rana so far. There have been legal complications due to which the questioning has not taken place. I n the case of Headley, the NIA cannot seek his extradition due to a plea bargain agreement which he entered into following his arrest.
As per the deal, Headley cannot be extradited to India or Denmark and neither can be awarded a death sentence.