Hafiz Saeed's lawyers completed arguments before Pak court in terror financing cases

M Zulqernain

Lahore, Jan 30 (PTI) Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamat-ud Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed's lawyers finally completed their arguments before an anti-terrorism court here on Thursday in terror financing cases against him.

The Anti-Terrorism Court-I (ATC) indicted Saeed and his close aides - Hafiz Abdul Salam, Muhammad Ashraf and Zafar Iqbal - on terror financing charges on December 11.

'The anti-terrorism court adjourned the hearing in terror financing cases against Saeed and others till Saturday after his lawyers completed arguments on Thursday,' a court official told PTI.

Saeed's lawyers - Advocates Naseeruddin Nayyar and Imran Fazal Gull - presented their arguments declaring their client innocent. Saeed and his aides were brought in the court in high security.

Saeed has already recorded his statement before the court in two terror financing cases against him in which he pleaded 'not guilty'.

The cases of terror financing have been registered against him in Lahore and Gujranwala cities on the application of Counter Terrorism Department of Punjab police.

Cross examination of prosecution witnesses against Saeed and his three close aides by the defense counsel has already been concluded.

The prosecution had produced a good number of witnesses against Saeed.

The CTD had registered 23 FIRs against Saeed and his accomplices on the charges of terror financing in different cities of Punjab province and arrested him on July 17. He is held at the Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore.

Saeed-led JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans.

The US Department of the Treasury has designated 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.

The US has also welcomed Saeed’s indictment, urging Islamabad to ensure a full prosecution and expeditious trial of the charges against him.

The indictment followed growing international pressure on Pakistan to stop militant groups from collecting funds in the country and to take immediate action against those still involved in militant activities. PTI MZ ZH ZH