US stands by its support to India’s request for extradition of Rana, says Biden admin in court

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April 13, 2021 11:09 AM

The Biden administration, in a fresh submission before a US court, has reiterated its support to India's request for the extradition of Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana, who is sought for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

Tahawwur RanaThe US Government has argued that Rana meets all the criteria warranting certification of his extradition to India. (Photo source: IE)

The Biden administration, in a fresh submission before a US court, has reiterated its support to India’s request for the extradition of Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana, who is sought for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

US District Court Judge in Los Angeles Jacqueline Chooljian on Monday received the latest set of submissions from the US government attorney in the case. The judge has scheduled an in-person extradition hearing of Rana to India for June 24.

In the submission, along with an attached memorandum, Assistant US Attorney John J Lulejian, made a declaration in support of the ‘United States’ Surrebuttal in Support of its Request for Certification of Extradition. Lulejian reiterated that 59-year-old Rana’s extradition to India is as per the India-US extradition treaty.

As per the India-US Extradition Treaty, the Indian government has requested the formal extradition of Rana, and the United States has initiated this extradition proceeding. The US Government has argued that Rana meets all the criteria warranting certification of his extradition to India.

These are: the court has both personal and subject matter jurisdiction, there is an extradition treaty between the United States and India that is in full force and effect, and the crimes for which Rana’s extradition is sought are covered by the terms of the treaty. ”The United States respectfully requests the certification of Rana’s extradition to India for the Secretary of State’s decision on his surrender,” he said. ”The extradition request contains sufficient evidence to establish probable cause, and Rana has not pointed to any evidence in the record that obliterates India’s presentation of probable cause,” he said.

Lulejian said that to the extent Rana relies on a statement made during (David Coleman) Headley’s plea hearing, his reliance is improper because the plea agreement itself says that only the written agreement controls. Moreover, the statement upon which Rana relies is ambiguous at best, he said.

In his submission, the US attorney noted that the premise of Rana’s argument is incorrect because the Indian substantive charges are not considered lesser included offenses of their conspiracy charges.

Rana, a childhood friend of Headley, was re-arrested on June 10 in Los Angeles on an extradition request by India for his involvement in the Mumbai terror attack in which 166 people, including six Americans, were killed. He has been declared a fugitive by India.

Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Headley was involved in plotting the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. He was made an approver in the case, and is currently serving a 35-year prison term in the US for his role in the attack.

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