A Pakistani court has indicted Islamist militant Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind of deadly 2008 attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai, on terrorism-financing charges, a government prosecutor and a security official said on December 11.
Muhammad Tahir, an official of the Counter-Terrorism Department of the Punjab police, told RFE/RL that Saeed appeared before the court in Lahore, eastern Pakistan, under strict security.
The charges were read as Saeed was present in the court, prosecutor Abdur Rauf Watto said.
Saeed is the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), or the Army of the Pure, a militant group blamed by the United States and India for the Mumbai siege in which 160 people, including Americans, were killed.
Washington has long pressured Pakistan to try Saeed, who is designated a terrorist by the United States and the United Nations.
Saeed’s lawyer, Imran Gill, said his client pleaded not guilty.
Pakistan’s counterterrorism police arrested Saeed in July, days before a visit to Washington by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The indictment came ahead of a world financial watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting early next year to decide whether to blacklist Pakistan for its failure to curb terror financing.
The United States has offered a reward of $10 million for information leading to the conviction of Saeed, who has been repeatedly detained and released over the past 10 years.