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Chicago jury begins deliberations on Rana's fate

By Lalit K Jha and Himani Kumar
June 08, 2011 20:39 IST
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The 12-member jury of a federal court in Chicago on Wednesday began deliberations against Tahawwur Rana, charged with involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks, planning of a similar strike in Denmark and providing material support to Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Tayiba.

Comprising of representation from various sections of the society in Chicago, the jury began its deliberations at 9:30 am local time under closed door settings.

Attorneys from both the United States government and those of 50-year-old Rana were present at the court to respond to any questions that the jury members might have about the case.

The jury were also provided with copies of the audio and video tapes along with transcripts, besides a set of all the exhibits including the large number of email exchanges of Rana, David Coleman Headley and many others related to the case, which were shown as evidences by the defense and federal attorneys during the trial that lasted more than two weeks.

Officials were tightlipped as to when the jury would be able to give its verdict against Rana, who has been charged on three counts.

The attorney on Tuesday completed their closing arguments, during which both the defense and federal prosecutors walked through final time their point of view.

The government attorney accused Rana of complicity with witness Headley's efforts to scout for the Mumbai attacks and a later thwarted attack on Danish newspaper 'Jyllands-Posten'.

Headley has pleaded guilty and has been spared the death penalty in exchange for his testimony against his childhood friend Rana.

The defence attorney, however, again attempted to paint Headley, the government's star witness, as a duplicitous friend and serial liar.

Defence attorney Patrick Blegen told the jury that Headley "is a lifelong liar, manipulator and con man."

Soon after the closing arguments concluded last evening, judge Harry D Leinenweber issued detailed instructions to the jury on the procedures to be adopted to reach their conclusion.

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Lalit K Jha and Himani Kumar in Chicago
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