Global Economy

Pak court transfers two terror financing cases against Hafiz Saeed to Lahore


LAHORE: An anti-terrorism
court in Pakistan on Tuesday transferred
two
terror
financing
cases
against Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamat-ud-Dawa chief
Hafiz
Saeed
to
Lahore on his request.

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. The 70-year-old fiery cleric is lodged at the high-security Kot Lakhpat jail here.

Lahore High
Court Chief Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh held the hearing on the petition of
Saeed and his close aide Zafar Iqbal, who is the secretary of Al-Anfaal Trust.

Saeed in his petition requested the
court
to transfer
two
terror
financing
cases
against him from Multan and Sahiwal cities of Punjab
to
Lahore so that the anti-terrorism
court in
Lahore could hear all such
cases
against him.

The
court accepted his plea after prosecution raised no objection on it.

On February 12,
Saeed and Iqbal were sentenced in
two
terror
financing
cases registered
against them in
Lahore and Gujranwala cities on the application of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab police.

Anti-terrorism
court Judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta sentenced
Saeed and Iqbal
to five and a half years each and imposed a fine of Rs 15,000 in each case. A total of 11 years sentence will run concurrently.

Saeed‘s counsel Imran Fazal Gill alleged that his client was convicted on the pressure of the Financial Action Task Force. “We are disappointed over the ATC verdict and will challenge it in the LHC,” he said.

Saeed will undergo imprisonment at Kot Lakhpat jail where he has been detained since July last.

The CTD had registered 23 FIRs
against
Saeed and his accomplices on the charges of
terror
financing in different cities of the province.

The ATC had indicted
Saeed and others on December 11 in these
two
terror
financing case in day
to day hearing.
Saeed had recorded his statement before the
court pleadeding “not guilty”.

Saeed-led JuD is the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans.

The US named
Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings
Saeed
to justice. He was listed as a terrorist under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.

The US welcomed the conviction of
Saeed and described it as an “important step forward” for Pakistan in meeting its international commitments
to combat
terror
financing and not
to allow non-state actors
to operate from its soil.

The crackdown on
Saeed‘s outfit last year followed a warning by the international
terror
financing watchdog
to Pakistan
to deliver on its commitments
to curb
terror
financing and money laundering.

The FATF in October last decided
to keep Pakistan on its ‘Grey List’ for its failure
to curb funnelling of funds
to
terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

If not removed off the list by April, Pakistan may move
to a blacklist of countries that face severe economic sanctions, such as Iran.





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