Mumbai attacks: Jury selection begins in US trial

Headley to be star witness at trial for man who ‘provided material support’.


Afp May 17, 2011

CHICAGO:


Jury selection began on Monday in a Chicago trial that will open a window onto two Pakistani terror groups and the plotters of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.


The indictment does not mention the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) but it does name a Major Iqbal and describes him as “a resident of Pakistan who participated in planning and funding attacks carried out by Lashkar.”

Court proceedings on Monday were brief and opening statements are not expected until May 23.

“Potential jurors are completing a questionnaire and they’ll return tomorrow for in-court jury selection,” said Randall Samborn, a spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office in northern Illinois.

Chicago businessman Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 50, is charged with providing material support to the attackers by acting as a messenger and providing a cover for a key figure.

David Coleman Headley, who was arrested in 2009 and has admitted to scouting sites for the Mumbai siege, will be a star witness at Rana’s trial.

Jurors are also expected to hear a series of conversations between the two men that were secretly recorded by America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Rana – who holds Canadian citizenship – insisted after his 2009 arrest that he is a pacifist who was “duped” into letting his old friend use his immigration services company as a cover.

But in pre-trial motions, his lawyers proposed defending Rana’s actions by arguing that he believed Headley was working on behalf of the ISI, not terrorists.



Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2011.

COMMENTS (5)

Feroz | 10 years ago | Reply This case has the potential to let the cat out of the bag. While both the US and Pakistan try hard to cover up the complicity of the ISI the defence is resolute in proving that Rana gave cover to Daoud Gilani on the instructions of ISI not LET, therefore he presumed enjoyment of immunity.. While Major Iqbal may be the handler and financier, who is the mastermind and boss ? This is a difficult case with unexpected ramifications for those who planned the mayhem and will expose the culprits as they try assiduously to cover tracks. Exposure of the truth while dangerous for the country, will be positive if it acts as a trigger for change more so in the use of terrorism for strategic goals.
Meekal Ahmed | 10 years ago | Reply This should be interesting......................
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