Pakistan-origin Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana will remain in a prison in the United States for now as a Los Angeles judge on Thursday gave a later date for hearing in a case on his extradition to India, AP reported. Rana is a key accused in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack and was declared a fugitive by India.

Following proceedings in an in-person extradition hearing of Rana, the court of magistrate judge Jacqueline Chooljian ordered the defence lawyers and prosecutors to file additional documents in the case by July 15. Rana will remain in custody till then.

During Thursday’s hearing, Assistant US Attorney John J Lulejian told the court that Rana meets all the criteria to be extradited to India for his trial in the Mumbai terror attack. On February 4, Rana’s attorney had opposed his extradition.

India authorities have alleged that Rana conspired with his childhood friend David Coleman Headley to assist the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba in the orchestration of the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people, and injured more than 200. The prosecutors have said Rana’s immigration law centre in Chicago, as well as a branch office in Mumbai, was allegedly used as a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba’s terrorism activities between 2006 and 2008.

Meanwhile, Rana’s attorneys said their client was not aware of Headley’s terrorism plot and was merely trying to help his childhood friend set up a Mumbai business office. They also argued that Headley is a serial liar who has deceived the US government multiple times in several criminal cases and his testimony should not be viewed as credible.

Headley was made an approver in the case and is currently serving a 35-year prison term in the US for his role in the attack.

In December 2020, a United States court had denied a bail plea moved by Rana on grounds of being a flight risk. He sought release from prison till his extradition hearing was finalised after contracting the coronavirus disease again.

Ten armed men who were trained by Lashkar-e-Taiba and officials in the Pakistan security establishment launched coordinated terror attacks at 12 locations in Mumbai on November 26, 2008. One of the terrorists, Ajmal Kasab, was caught and later hanged to death in 2012.