Amid intense pressure on Islamabad, a Pakistani anti-terrorism court said it would pronounce its verdict against Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed in two terror financing cases. On Thursday, Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Lahore judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta reserved verdict against Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Saeed in two terror financing cases.
A court official told sources after the hearing, the defence and prosecution completed their arguments in a six-hour hearing. The judge will declare the verdict on February 8 in the presence of Hafiz Saeed. Twenty witnesses have come forward in the ATC to testify against Hafiz Saeed and his close aides for their alleged involvement in terror financing.
“As the defence had already completed its arguments on January 30, the prosecution presented more arguments and evidence before the court on Thursday,” the official said.
Hafiz Saeed was presented before the ATC amid tight security. The Anti-terrorism Court had indicated Hafiz Saeed and others on December 11. Earlier, he had already recorded his statement before the court in two terror financing cases against him in which he pleaded “not guilty.”
The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) has registered 23 FIRs against Hafiz Saeed on the charges of terror financing in different cities of Punjab and arrested him on July 17. Hafiz Saeed-led Jama’at-ud-Da’wah (JuD) is believed to be the leading organization for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which carried out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people.
Hafiz Saeed was designed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US Department of the Treasury. The United has offered a USD 10 million rewards for information that brings Saeed to justice since 2012.