Hafiz Saeed Sentenced To 11 Years In Jail In Terror Financing Cases By Pak Court

An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan sentenced Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed to 11 years in jail in two terror financing cases.

Islamabad| Hafiz Saeed, a UN-designated terrorist whom the US has placed a USD 10 million bounty on, was arrested on July 17 in the terror financing cases. He is lodged at the Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail in high security.

A court official confirmed to PTI that Saeed was convicted and sentenced on two counts by a court in the eastern city of Lahore on Wednesday on the application of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab police.

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The court sentenced Saeed to five and a half years for each case and imposed a fine of Rs 15,000 in each case. The sentences of both cases will run concurrently.

The anti-terrorism court or ATC had indicted Saeed and his close aides on December 11 in the terror financing cases.

On last Saturday, Lahore ATC judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta deferred the verdict against Saeed in two terror financing cases till February 11.

In the two cases, the prosecution produced some 20 or so witnesses in the ATC who testified against Saeed and his close aides for their involvement in terror financing. Saeed pleaded “not guilty” in both cases.

The arrest and charging of Saeed, the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed more than 160 people, has been a long-standing demand of the United States and Pakistan’s neighbour India.

The 70-year-old says he is not linked to any armed group, although he heads Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), the charitable arm of the LeT group. Both the JuD and LeT are “banned organisations” under Pakistani anti-terrorism law.

Saeed’s conviction comes days ahead of a key meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental watchdog that monitors terrorism and criminal financing laws, in Paris.

FATF will be issuing a decision on whether Pakistan has taken sufficient steps to avoid being “blacklisted”, a designation that would come as a blow to the South Asian nation’s struggling economy.

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