18:52 GMT24 July 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack has been designated as a global terrorist by the US Department of the Treasury. Currently, Saeed is in Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore on charges of terror funding.

    On Saturday, the Anti-Terror Court was due to announce its verdict on two terror funding cases against Hafiz Saeed, but these have now been deferred until 11 February. 

    The chief of the banned terrorist group called Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD),  Saeed filed a plea requesting the court to complete the hearing of other pending cases against him as well and announce the verdicts of all the cases together.

    In December last year, Pakistan’s anti-terrorism court indicted the 26/11 chief along with his top three aides Hafiz Abdul Salam bin Muhammad, Muhammad Ashraf and Zafar Iqbal on charges of financially backing terrorism.

    The prosecution told Indian news agency Press Trust of India that they produced around 20 witnesses who testified against Saeed and his aides about their alleged involvement in terror financing activities.

    However, in his statement already recorded before the court, the JuD chief pleaded not-guilty in both the terror financing cases against him.

    Had Saeed been convicted by the court, it would have been a first in two decades.

    The delay in pronouncing the verdict on Saturday comes on the heels of global pressure on Pakistan to take immediate actions and clamp down the infrastructure of  terror funding groups thriving in the country.

    Earlier in December 2019, another hearing failed to indict Saeed after authorities couldn't produce his co-accused before the court. 

    In totality, 23 first information reports (FIRs) have been registered against Saeed and his aides on the charges of funding terror activities in different cities of Pakistan's Punjab province. He was arrested on 17 July. 

    In December 2008, Saeed was put under house arrest in Pakistan but was freed after 10 months by the Lahore High Court.


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    Lahore, Court, Hafiz Saeed, funding, Terrorism, Pakistan
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