A federal court has reduced the sentence of Kashmiri separatist and alleged Inter Services Intelligence agent Ghulam Nabi Fai by 15 per cent after the United States government moved a petition for his sentence reduction.
In March 2012, Fai was sentenced to two years in jail on charges of illegally working for Pakistani spy agency ISI to influence American policy on Kashmir. He was scheduled to be released in March next year.
Moving a motion on November 15 Gordon Kromberg the Assistant United States Attorney cited the co-operation provided by Fai in bringing to book other culprits involved in the transfer of funds from ISI to the US to serve the cause of the Pakistan.
"Upon consideration of the governments motion for reduction of sentence and the court after reviewing the record and hearing the arguments of counsel and having found that the defendant has rendered substantial assistance to the government, it is accordingly ordered that the government's motion for reduction of sentence is granted," District Judge Liarn O'Gra District of in the Easter District of Virginia said in his order on Friday.
Fai was arrested on July 19, 2011, for concealing transfer of $3.5 million from ISI to fund his illegal lobbying efforts and influence the US government on the Kashmir conflict in violation of Foreign Agents Registration Act.
"We move for a reduction in Fai's sentence even though no convictions or guilty pleas have yet resulted from his cooperation. In essence, the information that Fai provided regarding the scheme to route money from the ISI to the KAC (Kashmir American Council) through straw donors has substantially assisted in the prosecution of other cases that have not been completed," the US attorney said.
Kromberg said over the course of many hours of debriefings, Fai provided information with respect to some areas of inquiry, including the financing of the KAC by the ISI, and the use of straw donors by Zaheer Ahmad to arrange the transfer of ISI money to the KAC.
"At least in part as a result of Fai’s information, one of the straw donors signed an agreement on November 4, 2013, to plead guilty to a tax conspiracy involving asserting deductions for transfers to the KAC that were reimbursed by Ahmad in Pakistan. That plea agreement has yet to be entered in court," he said.
Kromberg said further, at least in part as a result of Fai’s information, indictments were returned in this district on November 7, 2013, against Abdul Akif, Saeed Bajwa, Javed Rehmat, and another individual who has yet to be arrested.
While these defendants likely could be convicted without Fai’s testimony, he is expected to be available to provide helpful testify in each case.
"None of these individuals is likely to go trial before Fai’s sentence to imprisonment ends. Lest Fai receive no benefit from the cooperation that he did provide pursuant to his plea agreement, we move the Court to reduce his sentence now even though his cooperation is not complete," he said.
"For the foregoing reasons, the United States moves this court to reduce the defendant's sentence of 24 months in prison by approximately 15 per cent, to 20 months in prison," the attorney said.
Federal investigators alleged that for more than 20 years, Fai operated the Kashmiri American Council as a front for the Pakistani intelligence service known as the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate.
During the decades Fai acted as an ISI agent through lobbying members of Congress and officials in the administration and executive agencies, hosting conferences, and generally promoting Pakistan’s political agenda regarding Kashmir throughout the United States.
Fai never publicly disclosed his relationship to the ISI because doing so would have undercut his effectiveness in spreading the ISI's message in Washington and around the country.