Washington: Trying to portray 26/11 terror suspect David Coleman Headley as a conman who fooled everyone in the world including the FBI, Tahawwur Hussein Rana's attorney urged the 12-member jury of a Chicago federal court not to fall into his trap again and get fool by him.
"Headley fooled everyone. Don't let Headley fool you. Please do not convict Rana in this case," defense attorney Patric Blegen pleaded in the final moments of his closing argument.
In an emotional appeal, he said, his client was a religious man and was duped and fooled by Headley for executing his terrorist plans.
"Headley lies; he controls the flow of information and uses people," he argued.
"He lies under oath. He lies to accomplish his goals," the defense attorney added.
"Headley sacrificed Rana for himself and his family," Blegen argued as he reiterated that he and his team presented before the court over the past two weeks that Rana had no knowledge about Healdey's terrorist intentions.
Rana, he said, was a simply a businessmen and interested in expanding his business overseas including Mumbai, Lahore, Karachi and Denmark.
Headley exploited Rana's business expansion plans and duped him as he used the business to serve the terrorist interest of both the Inter Services Intelligence of Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Toiba, he argued.
Arguing that Rana was not involved in the conspiracy of either the Mumbai terror attack or the Copenhagen plot, Patric told the jury that one can't rely on Headley for anything.
"We have established beyond doubt that Rana did not do any of these things," he said.
In fact, the entire argument of the defense lawyer was that Headley is a liar.
"Headley betrayed his friendship to Rana. He is spewing lies," Blegen said, adding Headley has mastered the art of becoming a government witness to save himself.
"This is not the first time that he has entered into a guilty plea," he said, adding this is for the third time he has turned into a government witness.
In another attempt to prove his client's innocence, Blegen said that Headley told only two individuals about the Mumbai terrorist attacks, Rana and Rahul Bhatt.
This is a strong proof that Rana did not know about the Mumbai terrorist attack. No one else in the Headley close circles received the warning because everyone else knew about it, he buttressed.
Strongly objecting to this argument, government prosecutor Daniel Collins said Rahul Bhatt and Rana could not be compared.
"Defense is trying to take your (jury's) focus away. There is no comparison between Rahul Bhatt and Rana. Rahul Bhatt did not get Headley his visa. Rahul Bhatt did not open an office for him (Headley)," Collins argued.
Blegen also argued that Rana, unlike other members of the Headley team, did not see any of the videos taken by him.
"Rana never saw a single moment of these videos. Videos were seen by those who were part of the conspiracy. Rana was never part of it so he never bothered to see these surveillance videos," he argued.
The defense attorney argued Headley used ISI to cover Lashkar-e-Toiba, for whom he worked for.
"Headley is a life-long manipulator, a conman," Blegan said adding, Rana is unwilling dupe of Headley and that his client was not told the truth by his childhood friend.
"Ignorance is not knowledge" Blegen said.
The defense attorney tried to prove the innocence of his client by saying Headley didn't give Rana the cap, he had brought from Denmark as a souvenir for his close team members.
As he was not given the cap, this means that Rana was not a "knowing conspirator", he argued.
Making his final argument Blegan said there is nothing simple when it comes to Headley.
"He is a conman. He thinks he can fool everyone. For instance when he was really training with Lashkar in Pakistan he told FBI that he was their man," Blegan said, adding he uses everybody and thinks that he can fool everybody.
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