Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, a UN designated Pakistani terrorist whom the US has placed a USD 10 million bounty on, challenged his arrest in the terror financing cases in the Lahore High Court in Pakistan on Tuesday.
In a fresh petition, Hafiz Saeed and 67 other leaders of the banned Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) and its affiliate organisation Falah-i-Insaniat (FIF), challeneged the FIRs of terror financing against them in the LHC through their counsels, Advocate A K Dogar, Ahmad Abudullah Dogar and Ghulam Yasin Bhatti.
The petitioners have made the interior ministry, the Punjab home department and the Counter Terrorism Department of Punjab police respondents in the case. The court will fix hearing of this case later.
Hafiz Saeed was arrested on July 17 in a terror financing case and the anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Gujrat (some 200-km from Lahore) will take it up on September 2. He is kept at the Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail in high security.
The petitioners said JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and others (67) are neither members of Lashkar-e-Taiba nor they have any nexus with it. They also cited some previous courts observations in this regard.
Hafiz Saeed and others submitted to the LHC to declare the property detailed in this petition was "dedicated for the purpose of mosques and is being used as such therefore FIRs are without lawful authority and of no legal effect."
Hafiz 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. He was listed under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.
The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Pakistan's Punjab Police had registered 23 FIRs against the petitioners on the charges of "terror financing" in different cities of Punjab province.
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.
The CTD said investigation launched into financing matters of proscribed organisations -- JuD and 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 1st January 2019 chaired by the 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 Hafiz Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.