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Rediff.com  » News » Terror charges against 'honest' Rana false: brother

Terror charges against 'honest' Rana false: brother

Last updated on: November 24, 2009 08:48 IST

The Canada-based brother of terror suspect Tahawwur Rana has come out in support of his brother saying the charges against him are false and described Rana as a "man of integrity".

Rana's brother, Abbas Rana has been working as journalist with Ottawa-based newsweekly Hill Times since 2002 and his statement has appeared in the paper on Monday in a column by its publisher Jim Creskey titled 'Why The Hill Times supports its reporter, Abbas Rana'.

Creskey wrote the charges have been "devastating" on the Rana family and that Abbas Rana knew nothing more about the accusations facing his brother beyond what he has read in the media.

Abbas on his part was quoted as saying he knows his brother is honest and the charges against him are not true.

"To the best of my knowledge, these charges are false," Abbas Rana said.

"I know my brother. I love my brother. He is a man of integrity, he is honest, and he is a hard-working," he said.

Rana and another American citizen David Coleman Headley were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last month on charges of plotting terror attacks in India and Denmark.

City-resident Rana, who was born and raised in Pakistan, immigrated to Canada in 1997 and obtained Canadian citizenship in June 2001, ran a grocery store and an immigration consultancy firm at Devon here.

Creskey further wrote Abbas has been worried that the news about his brother's arrest would break his 75-year-old father Wali Rana.

Abbas has been on leave from the Hill Times newsroom for the last five weeks and is looking after his father.

"When the story first broke in the American media last month, Abbas and his family members decided not to tell their father because they were afraid it would kill him," he said.

"They waited for weeks and tried to shield their father from news reports, but were forced to tell him two weeks ago. The news put him in hospital," he added.

Describing Abbas as a respected journalist and a "kind and gentle person", Creskey said he "revels in the virtues of democratic institutions".

Extending support for Abbas, Cresky said the organisation is looking forward to his return to the newsroom.

"As I read about his brother's case in news stories from Chicago, to India, to Canada, I can't help but notice the innuendo that appears to imply guilt in the reporting on allegations of terrorism," Cresky wrote.

"For those of us who know Abbas Rana as a colleague, it's painful to see how these reports can unhinge the lives of so many innocent relatives as well," he said.

Rana and his wife, Samraz Akhtar Rana, live in Chicago with their two daughters and a son. The couple also co-own the house in Kanata, a suburb of Ottawa. But only his father, his brother Abbas and Abbas's wife currently live there.
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