New Delhi: Four people associated with the Hizbul Mujahideen on Friday ”voluntarily pleaded guilty” before a Delhi court in a money laundering case related to the Jammu Kashmir Affectees Relief Trust terror funding matter.
Mohammad Shafi Shah, Talib Lali, Muzaffar Ahmad Dar, and Musthaq Ahmad Lone told the court that they did not claim trial in the matter and accepted the allegations levelled against them by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Special Judge Shailender Malik recorded the statements of each of the accused regarding the plea of guilt and posted the matter for February 16 for further proceedings, including arguments on the quantum of sentence to be awarded to them.
The four accused, who are currently in judicial custody, were produced before the court during the proceedings.
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”After making them understand the process, the accused persons have voluntarily agreed to plead guilty. All the accused persons are being represented by their advocates who have also made them understand the process and consequences of pleading guilty,” the judge said.
The judge also directed jail authorities to produce all the four accused on the next date of hearing.
The court had earlier noted that the case also involved Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) chief Syed Salahuddin and the terror outfit had created a frontal organisation in the name of Jammu Kashmir Affectees Relief Trust (JKART) to fund terrorist activities.
The ED, represented by its Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana, had told the court that the accused persons, along with HM chief Salahuddin and others, laundered funds collected and received from Pakistan through different mediums for its expenditure and distribution to active cadres of the HM and other terrorist outfits, purchase of material used for explosives and terrorist acts and abetment of terrorist acts.
The ED submitted before the court that the terror outfit was allegedly involved in funding around Rs 80 crore for terrorist activities in India.
It told the court that the ED had attached several properties in Kashmir that belonged to the accused persons.
The court had earlier declared Salahuddin and a few others proclaimed offenders in the case lodged under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED had filed a criminal case of money laundering in this instance after taking cognisance of a National Investigating Agency charge sheet filed against Salahuddin, Shah and others under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and sections of the Indian Penal Code.