LAHORE - An-antiterrorism court (ATC) yesterday announced that it would indict chief of banned Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) Hafiz Saeed and other JuD leaders who were booked in July for offences pertaining to terror financing on December 07.

The case against defunct Jamatud Dawa chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and others was registered in the light of UN Security Council resolution 1267.

Saeed, along with deputy emir Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki, Hafiz Abdul Salam bin Muhammad, Professor Zafar Iqbal, Muhammad Ashraf, Muhammad Yahya Aziz, and others were produced before the court under strict security arrangement.

According to Deputy Prosecutor General Abdul Rauf Watoo, the court was provided copies of the nearly two dozen cases registered against the JuD leaders during Saturday’s hearing which was presided over by Judge Malik Arshad Bhutta.

“As per law, after provision of copies to the court, trial begins. The first step of a trial is indictment,” explained DPG Watoo.

JUD chief, other accused provided copies of cases

The government lawyer requested the court to hold daily hearings since the copies had been provided. At this, the lawyers for the JuD leaders, Naseeruddin Nayyar and Muhammad Imran Gul, argued that they should be given a week’s time so that they could carefully examine documents and prepare their arguments.

When the state counsel pressed for daily hearings nonetheless, Judge Bhutta said: “The law binds us to hold a fair trial with properly prepared arguments. That’s why everyone should be given time.”

With this, he adjourned the trial till December 7.

The accused were also produced before another court that adjourned the case for a week.

On July 3, the top 13 leaders of the JuD were booked in nearly two dozen cases for terror financing and money laundering under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997.

The Counterterrorism Department (CTD), which registered the cases in five cities of Punjab, declared that the JuD was financing terrorism from the massive funds collected through non-profit organisations and trusts including Al-Anfaal Trust, Dawatul Irshad Trust, Muaz Bin Jabal Trust and many others.

These non-profit organisations were banned in April as the CTD, during detailed investigations, found that they had links with the JuD and its top leadership.

Subsequently, on July 17, Saeed was arrested from Gujranwala on charges of terror financing by the Punjab CTD. He was sent to prison on judicial remand after the CTD presented him before a Gujranwala ATC.