A Delhi court on Tuesday began the trial of a close aide of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and three others for allegedly running a hawala racket to fund terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen in Jammu and Kashmir.

District Judge (DJ) H S Sharma commenced the trial with recording of the statement of a formal prosecution witness and Delhi Police Inspector Kailash Singh Bisht of Special Cell.

In his deposition, Mr. Bisht apprised the court of information on which accused were arrested.

He deposed that Mr. Geeani’s alleged close aide Ghulam Mohd Bhat and three others, Mohd Siddiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmed Dagga were arrested on a tip-off that they were raising funds for the banned terror group.

Mr. Bisht said, in the last week of December 2010, they received the information that money was being sent from Pakistan to Jammu and Kashmir through Hawala channel following which a police team, constituted to probe the case, arrested the accused from J&K.

The court recorded Mr. Bisht’s statement and posted the matter for further recording of statement on Wednesday.

The court had framed charges against all the four accused under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on March 3.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) last year had filed the chargesheet against the four, indicting them for procuring over Rs 4.57 crore from Pakistan through hawala channels within three years after 2008 for funding the terrorist activities in the Valley.

The Special Cell of Delhi Police, on January 22 last year, had arrested Srinagar-based lawyer Bhat, Ganai, Liloo and Dagga from J&K on a tip-off that they were carrying hawala money, allegedly meant for the terror outfit. It had also recovered Rs 21.20 lakh from them.