Rana defense rests after calling two witnesses

June 6, 2011

(WBEZ/Robert Wildeboer)
Tahawwur Rana's attorneys, Patrick Blegen (left) and Charles Swift address reporters.

Tahawwur Rana told federal judge Harry Leinenweber he did not want to testify in his defense.  And with that – the jury was dismissed for the day. They will return on Tuesday for closing arguments. 

Rana, a Pakistani-born, Canadian citizen who was living in Chicago, is accused of helping plan the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India .

The key witness in the case has been David Headley, who testified Rana used his immigration company to help Headley travel to Denmark and India to plan attacks. Rana's defense attorneys say Headley believed in a branch of Islam known for taking violent action and recruited his friends and family, but failed to recruit Rana.

Headley agreed to plead guilty and testify against Rana to avoid the death penalty.

Rana and Headley are both implicated in the 2008 Mumbai, India terrorist attacks in which 164 people were killed. Rana also faces charges for helping terrorist organizations and plotting an attack on a Danish newspaper that was never carried out.

Prosecutors rested their case after playing videos of Rana being interrogated by the FBI. Rana talked about a terrorism group his former friend belonged to. 

Defense attorneys called two witnesses, which took less than 90 minutes: a former consultant that worked with Rana and a computer expert who testified that Rana didn’t do much Internet surfing for Denmark or Mumbai.