A US court has dismissed the writ of habeas corpus filed by Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana, paving the way for US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to issue a certificate to extradite him to India, where His involvement is being sought. 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
In a major victory in India’s fight to bring the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks to justice, a US court in May approved the extradition of 62-year-old Rana to India.
In June this year, Rana, who is currently in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles, filed a writ of habeas corpus challenging a court order that accepted the US government’s request that the 2008 Mumbai terrorists The accused of the attacks should be extradited to India. ,
The Court, by a separate order, denies Tahawwur Rana’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus, Judge Dale S. Fischer, United States District Judge for the Central District of California, wrote in his order on August 10.
However, Rana has filed an appeal against the order and has sought a stay on his extradition to India until his appeal is heard in the Ninth Circuit Court.
Rana faces charges for his role in the Mumbai attacks and is believed to be linked to Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley, one of the main conspirators of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
Judge Fischer said in his order that Rana has made only two basic arguments in the writ.
First, they claim that, according to the treaty, they cannot be extradited because India plans to prosecute them for the same actions they were accused of and acquitted in a United States court. was done. Second, they argue that the government has not established that there is probable cause to believe that Rana has committed Indian crimes for which he is expected to be prosecuted, the judge said.
He rejected both the arguments of Rana.
Given this, even if (David) Headley’s testimony was the entire basis for finding probable cause, it would be sufficient for the purposes of habeas review as it constitutes some competent evidence supporting the finding. For the reasons stated above, Rana’s petition for writ of habeas corpus is denied, the judge wrote.
Following Judge Fischer’s order, Patrick Blegen and John D. Kline, Rana’s two attorneys, to deny his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, by order entered on August 10, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit filed an appeal.
In a separate appeal, Blegan has filed a petition to stay extradition pending his appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit against the court’s order denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
As stated in the attached memorandum, petitioner submits that a stay of extradition pending appeal is appropriate because he has made a strong demonstration that he is likely to succeed in the idem claim on the merits of his non-bis ; If extradited, he would suffer irreparable harm, possibly including the death penalty; The stay pending appeal would not cause any significant loss to the Government; And the public interest supports a full review of Rana’s non-BIS claim before he is deported to the country that wants to execute him, Rana’s lawyer wrote on August 14.
In June, the Biden administration urged the court to reject the habeas corpus writ filed by Rana.
In his petition filed before the US District Court for the Central District of California, US Attorney E Martin Estrada for the Central District of California said, “The United States respectfully requests that the Court dismiss Rana’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus.”
India lodged a complaint on June 10, 2020, seeking Rana’s provisional arrest with a view to extradition. The Biden administration supported and approved his extradition to India.
Filing a writ of habeas corpus through his lawyer, Rana challenged his extradition by the Government of India.
Rana’s counsel argued that Rana’s extradition would violate the United States–India Extradition Treaty on two counts.
First, Rana was tried and acquitted in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on charges based on the same conduct for which India wants to prosecute him.
They argued that extradition is, therefore, barred under Article 6(1) of the treaty, which declares that “when the person sought to be extradited has been convicted or acquitted in the requested State of that offense for which extradition is requested, extradition shall not be granted.”
Second, the material presented by the Indian government – consisting primarily of transcripts and exhibits from Rana’s trial in the Northern District of Illinois – fails to establish probable cause that he committed the crimes India accuses him of. The Indian government’s extradition request thus fails to satisfy Article 9.3(c) of the treaty, the counsel said, adding the court should grant a writ of habeas corpus, refuse extradition and order Rana’s release.
However, the US government has asked that Rana be extradited to India.
In his submission to the US court on June 23, the US lawyer argued that Rana’s claims about the legality of his business in Mumbai proved to be false.
The evidence does not support Rana’s claim that the Mumbai office conducted legitimate business, but even if it did, the involvement of legitimate business activities does not preclude the conclusion that Rana’s business was in connection with Headley’s terrorism-related activities in Mumbai. Also served as a cover for
Rana’s claims about who funded the Mumbai office also have nothing to do with whether Rana lacked knowledge and support of Headley’s activities. Estrada argued that, similarly, even though Rana was expected to continue business operations in Mumbai, the evidence showed that neither Rana nor Headley renewed the business lease which expired approximately two weeks before the start of the Mumbai attacks. had ended earlier.
India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) is probing Rana’s role in the 26/11 attacks carried out by terrorists of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group. The NIA has said that it is ready to initiate proceedings to bring him back to India through diplomatic channels.
A total of 166 people, including six Americans, were killed in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, in which 10 Pakistani terrorists laid siege for over 60 hours, attacking iconic and important places in Mumbai and killing people.