Founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group blamed by the US and India for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, convicted in two terrorist financing cases.
A Pakistani court has sentenced Hafiz Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the armed group that the United States and India blame for the deadly siege of Mumbai in 2008to 31 years in prison in two cases of terrorist financing.
Court documents show Saeed was found guilty of multiple offenses in the two cases, but it was not immediately clear how much jail time that would entail given his current incarceration and the sentences run concurrently.
“The sentences given to convict Hafiz Muhammad Saeed are concurrent with those in this case and previously given, if any,” says a court order dated April 7.
Said, who was arrested in 2019He is already in jail serving a 15-year sentence after being convicted of similar terrorist financing charges in 2020.
His lawyer, Naseeruddin Nayyar, said Saeed can appeal the latest sentence.
Saeed has been arrested and released. repeatedly over the past decade and denies involvement in armed operations, including the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people died, some of whom were Americans.
The United States has offered a $10 million reward for information leading to Saeed’s conviction.
Following his arrest, the Pakistani government seized Saeed’s extensive network of mosques, schools, seminaries, charities and other assets in the country.
Under Pakistani law, unless a sentence is overturned or reduced on appeal, Saeed will have to serve them consecutively.
The LeT group was active for years in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, which is divided between Pakistan and India but claimed by both.
Relations between Pakistan and India were strained after the Mumbai attack. Rival South Asian powers have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.
Saeed’s conviction also comes as Pakistan seeks to avoid being punitively blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force, the global dirty money watchdog, which judges a country’s ability to combat illicit financing, including armed groups.
Pakistan has remained on the “grey list” since 2018.