The mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack Hafiz Saeed, who has been indicted along with three close aides in terror financing case, could not be produced before an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan on Thursday because of lawyers' strike, an official said.
Anti-Terrorism Court Lahore Judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta adjourned the hearing of the terror financing case against Saeed and others till Friday.
The court on Wednesday indicted Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief and his aides Hafiz Abdul Salam bin Muhammad, Muhammad Ashraf and Zafar Iqbal in terror financing case and directed the prosecution to produce witnesses.
"Neither Saeed and other three suspects nor any witnesses were produced before the court on Thursday because of the lawyers'' strike," a court official told news agency PTI.
He said the lawyers were protesting on the arrest of their colleagues in the case of hooliganism at a hospital in Lahore. "There are chances that the hearing may not be held on Friday also because of this reason," he said.
On Wednesday, the ATC framed the terror financing charges on the four suspects in their presence. Deputy Prosecutor General Punjab Abdur Rauf had told the court that founder of terror group Lashkar-e-Tabia and others were involved in terror financing case and the Counter Terrorism Department of Punjab police had ''solid evidence''.
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 Saeed on July 17. He is detained at the Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore.
The cases have been registered in Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan for collection of funds for terrorism financing through assets/properties made and held in the names of Trusts/Non Profit Organisations (NPO) including Al-Anfaal Trust, Dawatul Irshad Trust, Muaz Bin Jabal Trust, etc.
According to the CTD, investigation launched into financing matters of proscribed organisations -- Jammat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) -- in connection with implementation of UN sanctions against these designated entities and persons as directed by NSC (National Security Committee) in its Meeting of January 1, 2019 chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan for implementing the National Action Plan.
"These suspects made assets from funds of terrorism financing. They held and used these assets to raise more funds for further terrorism financing. Hence, they committed multiple offences of terrorism financing and money laundering under Anti Terrorism Act 1997. They will be prosecuted in ATCs (Anti Terrorism Courts) for commission of these offences," the CTD said.
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.
Saeed-led JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.