Hafiz Saeed, wanted by U.S. after 2008 Mumbai bombings, sentenced to 31 years in prison

A Pakistani court sentenced Islamist leader Hafiz Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group blamed by the United States and India for the 2008 Mumbai siege, to 31 years in prison in two cases of terrorism financing, court documents showed on Friday.

Saeed's sentencing connected to terrorist financing is the latest in long list of legal developments

A Pakistani court sentenced Islamist leader Hafiz Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group blamed by the United States and India for the 2008 Mumbai siege, to 31 years in prison in two cases of terrorism financing, court documents showed on Friday.

He was found guilty of multiple breaches in the two cases, but it was not immediately clear how much jail time it would entail given his current incarceration and the sentences running concurrently.

"The sentences awarded to convict Hafiz Muhammad Saeed run concurrently of this case and of previously awarded, if any," said a court order, dated April 7, that was seen by Reuters.

Saeed is already in jail having been found guilty on multiple similar charges in 2020.

Saeed has been arrested and released several times in the past — including in connection with 2001 and 2006 attacks on Indian soil — and he's denied involvement with militancy, including the 2008 Mumbai siege in which 160 people were killed, including two Canadians and six Americans.

The United States in 2012 offered a reward of $10 million US for information leading to the conviction of Saeed, and Lashkar-e-Taiba was designated a terrorist entity by both Canada and the U.S. in the early 2000s.

The conviction comes as Pakistan tries to avoid punitive blacklisting by global dirty money watchdog the Financial Action Task Force, which judges a country's ability to combat illicit financing, including to militant organizations.

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