A Pakistani Anti-Terrorism Court has sentenced three leaders of Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) terrorist organisation to six months in prison in a case of terror financing. Saeed’s brother-in-law Hafiz Abdur Rehman Makki, JuD spokesperson Yahya Mujahid and Zafar Iqbal were handed down the six-month imprisonment each by the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Lahore.
With Friday’s sentencing, the collective imprisonment of Mujahid and Iqbal has climbed to 80 and 56 years respectively.
The verdicts against them will run concurrently in the terror financing cases registered by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of the Punjab police.
“ATC-II Presiding Judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta announced the verdict in FIR No 32 of 2019 against Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Makki and Yahya Mujahid,” a court official told PTI.
The three convicts were present in the court when the judge announced the verdict, he said.
The CTD had registered as many as 41 cases against the leaders of the JuD in different cities of Punjab, the court official said, adding that the trial courts have so far decided 37 cases.
In a recent verdict, operations commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was given a 15-year imprisonment on three counts in a case of terror financing.
Early this week, the ATC handed down a 14-year imprisonment each to Iqbal and Mujahid while a six-month sentence to Makki in another terror financing case.
The ATC has sentenced Saeed for a collective imprisonment of 36 years on terror finance charges in five cases so far. His jail terms will run concurrently.
The LeT, led by JuD chief Saeed, is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans.
Saeed, a UN designated terrorist whom the US has placed a USD 10 million bounty on, was arrested on July 17 last year in the terror financing cases.
The 70-year-old JuD chief is lodged at Lahore's high-security Kot Lakhpat jail.
The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. He was listed under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.
The global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is instrumental in pushing Pakistan to take measures against terrorists roaming freely in Pakistan and using its territory to carry out attacks in India and elsewhere.
The Paris-based FATF placed Pakistan on the Grey List in June 2018 and asked Islamabad to implement a plan of action to curb money laundering and terror financing by the end of 2019 but the deadline was extended later on due to COVID-19 pandemic.