2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed pleads not guilty in terror financing cases, says Pakistani court official
Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed on Tuesday pleaded “not guilty” in two terror financing cases against him as the Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief recorded his statement in a Pakistani anti-terrorism court here, amidst mounting international pressure on Islamabad to rein in militant groups. The Counter Terrorism Department 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 (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans. “In response to a questionnaire handed over to him by the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Lahore regarding terrror financing charges against him, Saeed on Tuesday submitted his reply in which he dismissed all charges against him. He pleaded not guilty,” a court official told PTI after the in-camera hearing.
The official said the ATC adjourned the hearing till Wednesday for final arguments. The cases of terror financing have been registered against Saeed in Lahore and Gujranwala cities in Punjab province on the application of the Counter Terrorism Department of Punjab Police. Saeed was produced at the ATC under tight security. Journalists were not allowed to enter the court premises for the coverage of the proceedings.