LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court on Tuesday indicted Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki and three other leaders of Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD) in one of the cases against them carrying charges of terror financing.
Makki and other suspects – Malik Zafar Iqbal, Yayha Aziz and Abdul Salam – pleaded not guilty and opted to contest the trial.
At this, the court directed the prosecution to present witnesses on June 10.
Strict security measures were taken on and outside the court premises before the appearance of the JuD leaders.
The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) had registered some 23 FIRs against the JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and its other leaders during 2019 in police stations of Lahore, Gujranwala, Multan, Faisalabad, Sahiwal and Sargodha.
The CTD accused them of using properties of religious seminaries and mosques for terror financing.
Hafiz Saeed had also been indicted in at least five other cases along with other suspects. However, the suspects rejected the allegations as baseless and claimed the government registered the cases as a result of “international pressure”.
In two of such cases, the court had in February last handed down five and a half year rigorous imprisonment (RI) each to Hafiz Saeed and Malik Zafar Iqbal.
The court convicted both leaders under sections 11-N of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and sentenced them to five years RI with Rs10,000 fine each and six months RI under section 11-F (2) of the Act with Rs50,00 fine. These two cases were registered in Gujranwala.
Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2020