26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed sentenced to 32 years in jail over two more terror financing cases

Hafiz Saeed

Lahore: An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan on Friday sentenced Mumbai terror attack mastermind and banned Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed to 32 years in jail in two more terror financing cases.

The 71-year-old radical cleric had already been convicted for 36 years imprisonment in five similar terror financing cases.

The total sentence of 68 years imprisonment will run concurrently. Saeed may not have to spend many years in jail because his sentence will run concurrently, a lawyer told PTI.

On Friday, Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Judge Ejaz Ahmad Bhuttar handed down 32 years jail term to Saeed in two FIRs - 21/2019 and 90/2019 - registered by the Counter Terrorism Department of Punjab Police, a court official told PTI.

In the 21/2019 and 99/2021 cases, he was sentenced for 15.5 years and 16.5 years, respectively, the official added.

The court also imposed a fine of PKR 340,000 on Saeed.

He was brought to the court from the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore where he has been imprisoned since 2019 under strict security, the official said.

Saeed, a UN-designated terrorist on whom the US has placed a USD 10 million bounty, was arrested in July 2019 in the terror financing cases.

Saeed-led JuD is 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.

The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

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.

Pakistan in 'grey list' of FATF since June 2018

Pakistan has been on the 'grey list' of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) since June 2018 for failing to check money laundering, leading to terror financing, and was given a plan of action to complete it by October 2019.

Since then, the country continues to be on that list due to its failure to comply with the FATF mandates.

Pakistan has so far avoided being on the black list with the help of close allies like China, Turkey and Malaysia.

The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

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