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'Error in trial': Rana to appeal against verdict

By Lalit K Jha and Himani Kumar
June 10, 2011 10:08 IST
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Attorneys of Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana, who was convicted on Thursday by a United States court for providing material support to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and helping plan a terror plot in Denmark, said they would appeal against the verdict as there was an error in the trial.

Rana's attorney Patrick Blegan said he would file post-trial motions, claiming there was not enough evidence to convict him and there was an error in the trial.

The jury of a Chicago court found Rana, 50, guilty of providing material support to Pakistan-based LeT and helping a terror plot in Denmark. He, however, was acquitted by the court on charges of abetting the Mumbai terror attacks.

"Each of the count, for which Rana has been convicted, carries a maximum imprisonment of 15 years," Blegan said.

He said the government emphasised on the secretly taped car conversation between Rana and David Coleman Headley, a co-accused in the Mumbai attack case. Blegan said there is a huge contradiction in the verdict as the LeT is primarily involved in Mumbai and not in Denmark.

"But the government's evidence was that the Lashkar was also involved in the Denmark plot for a short period of time and the jury agreed to that," he said.

"Obviously we are extremely disappointed. We believe in Mr Rana. We believe he was not guilty. The jury came to another decision. We respect their decision, but we think they got it wrong," Blegan said.

"One of the big issues could be whether these sentences could be run consecutively. That is something that could be part of the motion," said Charles Swift, Rana's other attorney.

"We will argue that (to run the two sentences consecutively) because they involve the exact same conduct, but it will be up to the judge," he said.

Blegan replied in the affirmative when asked if he is going to appeal against the verdict.

"We have 60 days to file post trial motions. Those are the motions attacking the verdict," he said.

"I did not have enough time to think about it. Frankly, we may have an argument that these are conflicting verdicts, but we need some time to review it and think about it," he said.

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