26/11 AC­CUSED HEADLEY, RANA TO BE SEN­TENCED IN JAN­UARY 2013

Hindustan Times (Patna) - - FRONT PAGE - let­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI/CHICAGO: Amer­i­can­born Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) ter­ror­ist David Cole­man Headley, an ac­cused in 26/11 Mum­bai at­tacks, will be sen­tenced on Jan­uary 17 next year by a Chicago court.

The sen­tenc­ing of his child­hood friend and later ac­com­plice Ta­hawwur Hus­sain Rana has been resched­uled to Jan­uary 15 from the ear­lier date of De­cem­ber 4.

Headley had turned a wit­ness of the FBI in the trial against Rana. "We are keenly await­ing the sen­tenc­ing of Headley and Rana as our ex­tra­di­tion re­quest for the duo is pend­ing be­fore the US au­thor­i­ties. The ex­tra­di­tion re­quest was sent on Oc­to­ber 18. We hope for a favour­ble de­ci­sion," said a se­nior se­cu­rity of­fi­cial.

But In­dian of­fi­cials are also mind­ful of the re­al­i­ties in the two cases.

Rana was ac­quit­ted of the charge of par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Mum­bai at­tack con­spir­acy by the Chicago court but Headley ad­mit­ted to a guilty plea with the US pros­e­cu­tors in lieu of the prom­ise that nei­ther he will not be given a death sen­tence nor will be handed over In­dia, Den­mark or Pak­istan to face any trial. Headley ad­mit­ted to all 12 charges lev­elled against him, in­clud­ing his role in the Mum­bai at­tacks. Rana has been con­victed of pro­vid­ing ma­te­rial sup­port to LeT for plan­ning an at­tack on a Den­mark-based news­pa­per.

A Delhi court has de­manded Rana and Headley's pres­ence to con­duct a trial against them.

But with the US pros­e­cu­tion en­ter­ing into a plea bargain with Headley, a sec­tion of In­dian au­thor­i­ties be­lieve, it would be dif­fi­cult to en­sure his pres­ence in In­dia. The US au­thor­i­ties had pro­vided In­dia ac­cess to Headley but for ac­cess to Rana and Headley's wife Shazia, a de­ci­sion is pend­ing.

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