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US: Terror suspect Rana's bail hearing postponed

November 19, 2009 08:15 IST

The bail hearing of Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Pakistani-origin man in custody in the United States on charges of plotting terrorist attacks in India, scheduled at a court in Chicago on Thursday has been postponed till December 2.

Rana's detention hearing before Magistrate Judge Nan R Nolan has been moved to December 2 at the joint request of the parties, a court official said. Rana's hearing was initially scheduled for November 10 and had been postponed to November 19.

A Pakistan-born Canadian citizen, Rana, along with David Coleman Headley, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last month on charges of plotting terrorist attacks in India and Denmark.

Headley and Rana are residents of the city, with Rana running an immigration consultancy agency in Devon, Chicago. Federal prosecutors have time till January 14 to file an indictment case against Rana.

A Canadian national, Rana had made several trips to India in the past several years along with his school-time friend Headley, who has also been arrested on same charges.

Earlier, heeding to the request of the US Attorney Patrick J Fitzgerald who had moved a petition in this regard on Friday; Chief Justice James F Holderman of the US District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, on November 17 extended the time to file the indictment against Rana till January 14.

Earlier on October 30, the court had granted the government's unopposed motion with respect to 49-year-old Headley, extending the time in which the government must seek an indictment against him until January 1, 2010.

Moving the motion seeking extension of time, the US attorney had said the federal prosecutors need more time to complete the investigation. Investigations include the interception of numerous telephone and email communications, many of which were in a foreign language, he said.

"On October 18, federal agents executed four search warrants at four separate locations, and, among other items of evidence, seized a number of computers. Agents are diligently examining the evidence, including that contained in the seized computers," it said.

"Details concerning the investigation and the volume and types of evidence recovered during this investigation are stated in the Attachment hereto, which the government respectfully requests be placed under seal. The government is requesting that this Attachment be sealed so as not to compromise the continuing investigation," the US attorney had said.

"Additionally, further investigation regarding the full scope of the two defendants' activities is ongoing and includes gaining assistance from foreign authorities," it said.

Yoshita Singh in Chicago
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