Lakhvi likely to walk free like Saeed thanks to legal lacunas in Pak: Legal expert

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Washington, May 26 (ANI): The Pakistan Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Lahore High Court's verdict acquitting Jamaat-ud-Daawa (JuD) chief Hafeez Mohammed Saeed of all terror charges may have come as a shocker for many, particularly India, but legal experts believe that the decision comes as "no surprise," as the prosecution was hampered by a lack of admissible evidence.

According to Ahmed Bilal Soofi, a Supreme Court lawyer and expert on international law, Saeed's acquittal would also increase difficulties in the prosecution of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the founding leader and the operations chief of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), who is currently undergoing trial at anti-terror court along with six of his other aides who worked as key conspirators in the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

"Transnational crime prosecution between two countries is a very challenging assignment. Regrettably, in Pakistan as well as in India, there is no effective legislation for Mutual Legal Assistance, and the ultimate beneficiaries are the terrorists," The Christian Science Monitor quoted Soofi, as saying.

Pakistan has a long history of first arresting and then later releasing extremist leaders when it feels they can be of use to its strategic aims.

The apex court's decision may also have a negative impact on the renewed peace efforts between India and Pakistan, with New Delhi already expressing its disappointment over the court's judgement to allow Saeed, the mastermind of the November 2008 Mumbai carnage, to walk free.

"India hopes Pakistan will take meaningful action against Saeed. We are disappointed over at Saeed being let off by Pakistan," Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao had said soon after the Pakistan Supreme Court declared Saeed a 'free man' due to lack of evidence against him. (ANI)

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