LAHORE: Mumbai terrorist attack mastermind and banned Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) Boss Hafiz Saeed was sentenced to 15.5 years in prison by an anti-terrorist court on Thursday Pakistan in another case of terrorist financing.
The Lahore Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) fined Saeed 200,000 Pakistani rupees (PKR).
The 70-year-old radical clergyman has already been sentenced to 21 years in prison in four terrorist financing cases.
“On Thursday, a Lahore Counterterrorism Court (ATC) sentenced five Jamat-ud-Dawa leaders, including chief Hafiz Saeed, in another terrorist financing case … for 15.5 years,” a court official told PTI.
Now Saeed faces a collective sentence of over 36 years in five terrorist financing cases at Kot Lakhpat prison in Lahore. His punishment will be concurrent in these cases. There are reports that he was given the “VIP Protocol” in prison.
Saeed, a United Nations-appointed terrorist on whom the US has placed a $ 10 million bounty, was arrested on July 17 last year on terrorist financing cases.
In February of this year he was sentenced to 11 years in prison by an anti-terrorist court on two terrorist financing cases.
In November, Saeed was sentenced to an additional 10 years in prison by an anti-terrorist court on two additional terrorist financing cases.
The other four JuD leaders sentenced by the court on Thursday are Hafiz Abdus Salam, Zafar Iqbal, JuD spokesman Yahya Mujahid and Muhammad Ashraf.
Each convicted person was fined PKR 200,000.
The ATC also imposed a six-month prison sentence on Saeed’s brother-in-law, Abdul Rehman Makki, and fined him PKR 200,000, the official said.
“Judge Ijaz Ahmed of the ATC No. 3 Court heard Case No. 32/19 of the Department of Counter-Terrorism (CTD), in which the verdict was pronounced after the testimony of witnesses from Saeed and other lawyers – Naseeruddin Nayyar – was interrogated and Mohammad Imran Fazal Gul Advocate, “the official said.
He said the JuD leaders, including Saeed, were brought to court under high security and the media were not allowed to cover the trial.
A total of 41 cases have been registered by the CTD against the JuD leaders, 28 of which have been ruled, while the rest are pending in the ATC courts. So far, five cases have been decided against Saeed.
Saeed-led JuD is the front organization for the Lashkar-e-Toiba (To let) who was responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans.
The US Treasury Department has identified Saeed as a specially designated global terrorist. It was listed in UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global watchdog for terrorist financing, is instrumental in persuading Pakistan to take action against terrorists who roam freely in Pakistan and use its territory to attack India.
The FATF graylisted Pakistan in June 2018 and asked Islamabad to implement an action plan to curb money laundering and terrorist financing by the end of 2019. However, the deadline was later extended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With Pakistan remaining on the gray list, it could find it difficult to get financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Union, adding to the problems for Pakistan exacerbates the financially troubled nation.