Pakistan: high court rejects move to imprison Mumbai suspect

Pakistan‘s Supreme Court ruled May 25 that the cleric accused by India of plotting the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks cannot be imprisoned due to lack of evidence. Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is the head of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which was allegedly behind the attacks. Pakistan put Saeed under virtual house arrest one month after the onslaught, where he remained except for a three-month period last summer, but the Lahore High Court ordered his release in October. The Supreme Court’s ruling could strain the already fragile relationship between India and Pakistan, which recently started peace talks.

The charges against Saeed had been filed under the Pakistani Anti-Terrorism Act and were related to speeches Saeed gave while visiting Faisalabad last year. It is claimed he called for jihad and sought funding for his charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which is believed to be a front for the LeT. Saeed’s lawyer successfully argued that JuD was not a banned group. In September, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced that his government would indict seven suspects for their role in the attacks, while requesting further evidence from India that Saeed was involved in planning the attacks.

From Jurist, May 25. Used with permission.