Trial of Hafiz Saeed adjourned in terror financing case till January 2 due to lawyers strike
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A Pakistani anti-terrorism court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing of the terror financing case against Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and three of his top aides till January 2 due to lawyers’ strike.
The anti-terrorism court (ATC) Lahore indicted Hafiz Saeed and his close aides – Hafiz Abdul Salam, Muhammad Ashraf and Zafar Iqbal on terror financing charges on December 11.
“Hafiz Saeed and his three close aides were produced before the Anti-Terrorism Court Lahore in terror financing case in high security here on Tuesday. However, prosecution did not produce any witnesses against them,” a court official told PTI after the hearing.
He said the ATC adjourned the day-to-day hearing of the case till January 2 on the request of the prosecution lawyer. The prosecution told the court that since there has been a strike of lawyers in the lower courts, the hearing should be adjourned till next month.
The court accepted the prosecution’s request.
The lawyers have been protesting against the arrest of their colleagues in the hooliganism at a Lahore hospital.
In the previous hearing last week, the prosecution produced a witness who testified against Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed before the ATC. Saeed was also indicted in another case of terror financing.
Deputy Prosecutor General Punjab Abdur Rauf had told the court that the Counter Terrorism Department of Punjab police had ”solid evidence” that Hafiz Saeed and others were involved in terror financing.
The CTD had registered 23 First Information Reports against Hafiz 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.
Hafiz Saeed-led JuD is believed to be 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 Department of the Treasury has designated Hafiz Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings Hafiz Saeed to justice.
The United States has also welcomed Hafiz Saeed’s indictment by a Pakistani court, 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 terror groups from collecting funds in the country and to take immediate action against those still involved in militant activities.