Tahawwur Rana sentenced to 14 years in jail

FP

Tahawwur Rana, an accomplice of convicted terrorist David Headley, was today sentenced to 14 years in jail followed by five years of supervised release by a US court for providing material support to Pakistan-based LeT and for backing a plot to strike a Danish newspaper.

52-year-old Pakistani-Canadian Rana was sentenced by the Chicago federal court despite his defence attorneys seeking a lighter sentence of not more than a 9-year jail term, citing his poor health.

US prosecutors had sought 30 years' for Rana, who his lawyers said was duped into participation by his school-time friend Headley.

Rana was convicted in June 2011 by a federal grand jury, which found the businessman guilty of providing material support to LeT and planning an aborted plot to bomb the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

Rana, who was originally arrested in 2009 for his involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, was acquitted of that charge.

However, Indian investigators have accused him of being involved in the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people and are seeking to question him for the second time.

Headley, who conducted reconnaissance of the targets of the Mumbai terror attacks for LeT, had entered a plea bargain with the FBI, saving himself from a possible death penalty.

Acting US Attorney Gary S Shapiro has requested the Chicago court in a position paper that Rana be handed down a total of 30 years in prison.

Referring to the heart attack Rana suffered in June 2012 and the hospitalisation thereafter, his attorney Patrick W Blegan had told teh court earlier, "It is likely that his health will continue to deteriorate. He will likely at some point require dialysis due to his kidney disease, and is, of course, at risk for a second heart attack or vasovagal event".

Pakistan-born, Rana is a naturalized Canadian citizen who later on moved to Chicago for business purposes and has been living here for more than a decade now.

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