By Hamza Ameer
Lahore, Jan 8 (IANS) An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore has sentenced Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi to at least 15 years imprisonment, after the court found him guilty on charges of terror financing.
The Punjab province’s counter-terrorism department on terror financing charges recently arrested Lakhvi.
“The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Lahore convicted Lakhvi for commission of offences of terrorism financing in a case registered by the CTD for 15 years under different sanctions of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997”, said an ATC court official said.
Lakhvi, 61, was sentenced to five years in jail each on three different counts with a fine of at least Rs.100,000 on each count.
“In default of payment of fine, he will have to undergo an imprisonment of six months each on three counts. He has been sent to prison to serve the sentence”, the official of ATC said.
As per the case details, Lakhvi has been using a dispensary to gather funds and use them to facilitate and support terrorist outfits.
It is pertinent to mention that Lakhvi is the mastermind behind the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. The case has been pending in the Pakistan courts for years as Lakhvi has been on bail since the year 2015.
Lakhvi denied the charges levelled by the CTD and stated that he is being falsely implicated in the case. However, the CTD official maintained that “he and others also collected funds from the dispensary and used these funds for further terrorism financing. He also used these funds for personal expenses”.
What was interesting to see was that Lakhvi was brought to the ATC in Lahore for his first hearing after the arrest on Friday and was convicted the same day.
Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi is in the list of proscribed terrorists of the United Nations since 2008. His name was put in the UN proscribed individuals because he has close links with banned terrorist organisations including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Al-Qaeda. Lakhvi was responsible for preparing, planning, financing, facilitating and perpetrating terror activities.