Two days before FATF hearing, Pakistan sends Hafiz Saeed to jail for 5.5 years in terror financing cases
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind of the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, has been jailed for 11 years in Pakistan on terrorism financing charges, a government prosecutor said on Wednesday. A court official confirmed that Saeed was sentenced in two terror financing cases in Punjab province, PTI reported. The court sentenced Saeed to five and a half years and imposed a fine of Rs 15,000 in each case. The sentences of both cases will run concurrently.
The action comes a couple of days ahead of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary in Paris that will decide on Pakistan's blacklisting or greylisting.
The Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief was charged in Pakistan in December with collecting funds for a banned organisation. Saeed pleads not guilty.
"Hafiz Saeed and another of his close aides have been sentenced in two cases of terrorism financing," Reuters quoted prosecutor Abdul Rauf Watto as speaking.
Saeed is the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), or the Army of the Pure, a group blamed by the US and India for the four-day Mumbai siege, in which 160 people were killed.
He denies any involvement in the Mumbai attacks and says his network, which spans 300 seminaries and schools, hospitals, a publishing house and ambulance services, has no ties to militant groups.
Saeed faces 23 terror cases in Pakistan. Despite being an accused in the Mumbai attacks, he was allowed to roam freely in Pakistan and address anti-India rallies.
Pakistan had filed terror charges against Saaed following international pressure. He was charged with money laundering, terror financing in an FIR filed by the Counterterrorism Department of Pakistan's Punjab police.
Saeed is a Specially Designated Global Terrorist as per the US Department of the Treasury. In 2012, it offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice.
(with agency inputs)
Posted By: James Kuanal