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Terror accused Rana 'honest, non-violent'

December 03, 2009 12:16 IST

Family members and friends of Tahawwur Rana, who was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on charges of plotting terror attacks in India at the behest of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, on Wednesday vouched for his 'honesty' and 'non-violent nature' in a court hearing in Chicago.

Rana's bond hearing, held before United States Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan, was attended by his family, including his parents-in-law, friends and acquaintances.

Judge Nolan postponed the decision to grant him bail till the next hearing on December 15. As Rana, 48, walked into the courtroom, he smiled and waved out to his friends and family, who returned his greetings.

Wearing an orange jumpsuit, Rana's shackles were removed as he entered the courtroom. He sat next to his lawyer Patrick Blegen during the one-and-a-half hour long hearing that saw three witnesses testify that he was an "honest, decent, trustworthy and non-violent man'.

While Rana did not speak during the hearing, he at times smiled and shook his head at what the prosecutors were saying about his case. He took down some notes and spoke to his lawyer occasionally.

Rana sighed and smiled when he heard that the decision to grant him bail has been postponed and a new date has been set.

Rana, who was born in Pakistan but is a Canadian citizen now, has also been associated with organisations like the Pakistan Medical Clinic and the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaaz.

Yoshita Singh In Chicago
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