JuD chief Hafiz Saeed pleads not guilty in terrorist financing cases: judicial officer

LAHORE: The intellectual author of the Mumbai attack pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in two cases of terrorist financing against him when the Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief finally recorded his statement in a Pakistani anti-terrorism court here.

The Anti-Terrorism Department had registered 23 FIRs against Saeed and his accomplices on terrorist financing charges in different cities in the province of Punjab and arrested him on July 17. He is being held at the Kot Lakhpat prison in Lahore.

It is believed that the JuD led by Saeed is the main organization for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack in 2008 that killed 166 people, including six Americans.

At a hearing on January 10, a Pakistani anti-terrorism court handed a questionnaire to Saeed.

In response to a questionnaire delivered by the Lahore Anti-Terrorist Court (ATC) on terrorist financing charges against him, Saeed presented his response Tuesday in which he dismissed all charges against him. He pleaded not guilty. The official told PTI after the chamber hearing.

The official said the ATC postponed the hearing until Wednesday for final arguments.

Cases of terrorist financing have been registered against Saeed in Lahore and cities in the province of Punjab at the request of the Department of Anti-Terrorism of the Punjab Police.

Saeed was produced in the ATC under strict security. Journalists were not allowed to enter the court premises to cover the proceedings.