A court in Pakistan has sentenced the founder of the Islamist militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hafez Saeed, to 31 years in prison.
Saeed was convicted of numerous legal violations in two cases, but it is not yet clear how many years in prison the new sentence will entail given his current imprisonment and the concurrent validity of the sentences, reports a local Arabic daily.
He was accused by the United States and India of orchestrating a deadly attack in Mumbai in 2008.
A court order dated April 7, seen by Reuters on Friday, stated that “the judgments issued against Hafez Muhammad Saeed are being implemented in combination with this case and with any other judgments issued before.”
Saeed was already imprisoned for several similar charges in 2020.
Saeed had been arrested and released several times over the past decade and denies involvement in militant activity, including the 2008 Mumbai attacks, in which gunmen infiltrated the city by boat from Pakistan and killed 160 people, including Americans.
The United States has offered a $10 million reward for information leading to Saeed’s conviction.
The new ruling comes at a time when Pakistan is trying to avoid being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force, a global watchdog on dirty money that judges countries’ ability to combat illicit financing, including that of militant organizations.
India has repeatedly demanded that Saeed be extradited to it to be tried for the role he is suspected of playing in the Mumbai attack, but Pakistan has refused.
India has not commented on Saeed’s new ruling, but announced late on Friday that his son, Hafez Talha Saeed, was a “terrorist” under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
New Delhi said Talha Saeed, a cleric living in the Pakistani city of Lahore, had actively participated in the recruitment, financing, planning and execution of attacks in India as well as targeting the country’s interests in Afghanistan.
India blames its old rival Pakistan for decades of Islamist militants in their attacks on Indian targets across the region. Islamabad denies this and accuses New Delhi of supporting separatist rebels in Pakistan.