A Pakistani court has sentenced Islamist leader Hafiz Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group blamed by the US and India for the 2008 siege of Mumbai, to 31 years in prison in two government funding cases. terrorism, according to court documents released Friday. .
He was found guilty of multiple offenses in both cases, but it was not immediately clear how much jail time that would entail given his current incarceration and concurrently pending sentences.
“The sentences handed down to convict Hafiz Muhammad Saeed run concurrently with this case and those previously handed down, if any,” reads a court order dated April 7, seen by Reuters.
Saeed is already in prison after being found guilty of several similar charges in 2020.
Saeed has been arrested and released several times in the past – including in connection with the 2001 and 2006 attacks on Indian soil – and he has denied any involvement in activism, including the 2008 siege of Mumbai during which 160 people were killed, including two Canadians and six Americans.
In 2012, the United States offered a US$10 million reward for information leading to Saeed’s conviction, and Lashkar-e-Taiba was designated a terrorist entity by Canada and the United States in the early 2000s.
The sentencing comes as Pakistan attempts to avoid punitive blacklisting by the global dirty money watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force, which judges a country’s ability to tackle the financing unlawful, including to militant organisations.