LAHORE: An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Lahore has fixed December 7 for framing charges of alleged terror financing against Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed and others.
Saeed, along with JuD Deputy Emir Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki, Hafiz Abdul Salam bin Mohammad, Professor Zafar Iqbal, Mohammad Ashraf, Yahya Aziz and others, was presented before the court on Saturday amid heightened security.
According to Deputy Prosecutor General Abdul Rauf Watoo, the ATC Judge Malik Arshad Bhutta was provided copies of nearly two dozen cases registered against the JuD leaders.
Watoo said as per the law, the trial began after the provision of copies to the court and the first step of a trial is indictment. Later, the state's counsel requested the court to hold hearings of the case on daily basis since the copies.
Hafiz Saeed booked as Punjab moves to choke terror financing
Lawyers for the JuD leaders pleaded the court to give them one week so that they could study the documents. When the state counsel pressed for daily hearings, Judge Bhutta said, "The law binds us to hold a fair trial with properly prepared arguments. That is why everyone should be given time."
The court adjourned the trial till December 7.
On July 3, 13 leaders of JuD were booked in nearly two dozen cases of 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 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 others.
These non-profit organisations were banned in April as the CTD, during detailed investigations, found that they had links with JuD and its top leadership.
Subsequently, the CTD arrested Saeed on July 17 from Gujranwala on charges of terror financing. He was sent to prison on judicial remand after the CTD presented him before a Gujranwala ATC.
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