Friday, February 26th, 2010
US prosecutors preparing to try a Pakistani-born Chicago businessman on charges he aided the 2008 Mumbai attackers invoked a secrecy law on Wednesday to control evidence disclosures in the case.
Defendant Tahawwur Rana looked on during a federal court hearing where Patrick Fitzgerald, the US attorney in Chicago, and other prosecutors asked the judge for a private hearing to lay out the government’s classified evidence. The judge set the hearing for March 29.
The US law in question, the Classified Information Procedures Act, seeks to balance a defendant’s rights against the government’s desire to protect secrets and its information-gathering sources and methods.
Rana, 49, is charged along with American David Headley with providing support to the Mumbai attackers, which killed 166 people and set India-Pakistan relations on edge. Two Pakistanis have also been charged but they are not in custody.
Headley, 49, is cooperating with prosecutors, who have detailed his role scouting targets in Mumbai and elsewhere for Islamic militant groups.
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