CHICAGO (WLS) — For Tahawwur Rana, the Chicago travel agent convicted of terrorism, the wait for justice has been long. Rana has been locked in a Los Angeles jail cell for more than a year while a federal judge decides whether he should be sent back to India where authorities want to bring him to justice for the deadly November 2008 bombing in Mumbai. .
One hundred and sixty-six people, including six Americans, were killed in the Mumbai terror attack which Indian authorities say Tahawwur Rana and his co-defendant David Headley played a key role in planning.
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Headley and Rana are from Chicago. Rana, a Pakistani native and Canadian citizen, was running an immigration and travel agency in north Chicago when Headley recruited him to help prepare for the bloody commando raid on Mumbai often called 9/11 in India.
More than two years ago, when Rana was released after serving his prison sentence for the Chicago terrorism conviction, he was immediately arrested by US immigration officials on an extradition warrant from the India which he opposes.
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But with all the arguments in, for more than a year, court records show no activity in his case. He is waiting for justice and India too.
“It’s a long time for a judge to sit on an extradition request, especially since it’s a person who was released on the charge for which he served his sentence,” said ABC 7 legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Gil Soffer. .
“We don’t know why it’s taking so long. It could be that this judge is busy or the case is full so that other matters take precedence. Or, it could be that the judge is chewing up some arguments presented by the defense. Maybe looking at whether there was adequate probable cause, maybe looking at whether it’s an offense for which Rana has already served time has already been acquitted, all of which are one or the other that would block extradition, but that would be unusual,” Soffer said.
“There is a maxim that justice delayed is justice denied,” he continued.
As Rana’s long wait for justice continues, the Indian government awaits a US court decision on her extradition and Soffer says tonight it could still be a while. Rana’s attorney in Chicago did not respond to messages from the I-Team, but Soffer says that at some point Rana’s team may press a higher court for some sort of ruling.
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