Lahore: A Pakistani court Thursday suspended a one-year jail sentence of two senior leaders of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah and close aides of mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack Hafiz Saeed in a terror-financing case.
The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Lahore in June handed down one-year imprisonment to Abdul Rehman Makki and Abdus Salam for terror financing.
The ATC had also imposed a fine of 50,000 Rupees on each on them, failing for which they will have to undergo another six months in prison. The JuD leaders were convicted under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.
Both the leaders had challenged their conviction in the Lahore High Court (LHC).
“The Lahore High Court today suspended one-year sentence each of Abdul Rehman Makki and Abdus Salam and ordered their release on bail,” a court official told PTI.
A two-member bench of the LHC comprising Asjad Javed Gural and Waheed Khan held the hearing on their petition on Thursday and after hearing the arguments from both defence and prosecution, it accepted the plea of Makki and Salam and ordered the suspension of the ATC sentence.
The bench also ordered their release on bail.
Both the leaders were serving their sentence at the Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore.
According to the ATC verdict, both JuD/LeT leaders were found guilty of terrorism financing.
They had been collecting funds and unlawfully financing the proscribed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) organisation. The ATC had also ordered the confiscation of assets made from the funds collected through terrorism financing.
Makki, the head of JuD’s political and international affairs wing and in-charge of its charity Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), was arrested during a government crackdown against the outlawed organisations in May.
In February, Saeed was sentenced to 11 years in jail on terror finance charges by an ATC of Lahore.
The ATC sentenced Saeed and his close aide Zafar Iqbal to five-and-a-half years each in two cases. A total of 11 years sentence will run concurrently. Saeed is serving his term in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail. He was arrested in July last year.
The counter-terrorism department of Punjab police had registered 23 FIRs against Saeed and his accomplices on the charges of terror financing in different cities of the province.
Saeed-led JuD is the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans.
The US named Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10-million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice.
He was listed as a terrorist under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.