Lahore: Six more prosecution witnesses, including revenue officials, testified against Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and his close aides for their involvement in terror financing before an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan, a court official said. The anti-terrorism court in Lahore indicted Saeed and his close aides - Hafiz Abdul Salam, Muhammad Ashraf and Zafar Iqbal - on terror financing charges on December 11.
"Some six more prosecution witnesses, including the officials of the Punjab Government Revenue Department, testified against Saeed and three other suspects in terror financing case before the Anti-Terrorism Court," the official said. He said the revenue officials also submitted the record of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) centres, seminaries and mosques in Lahore.
The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab police also produced witnesses against Saeed and others who told the court about their collections of funds for terror financing. "There had been hours-long argument on the law of testimony and the counsel for the JuD leaders also cross examined the witnesses," he said.
The Anti-Terrorism Lahore (ATC-I) Judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta adjourned hearing. Strict security measures were taken in and outside the court premises during the appearance of the JuD leaders. 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 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, 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.