Vagueness surrounds review of Sayedee appeal verdict

September 17, 2014 5:38 AM

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Vagueness surrounds review of Sayedee appeal verdict

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told journalists soon after the Jamaat leader’s appeal verdict was delivered on Wednesday that there ‘was no scope for a review’.

But he had told bdnews24.com on Tuesday, “Nothing can be said for certain since we don’t have a full copy of that verdict.”

The Appellate Division in December last year rejected a plea by Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Molla asking for a possible review of the verdict which raised his life sentence, handed down by the war crimes tribunal, to death penalty.

But the full copy of that verdict has not been published yet.

The International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh gave death sentence to Sayedee, the number two of the Islamist political party Jamaat-e-Islami, for murder, arson and genocide in 1971.

Molla’s initial sentence of life in prison sparked protests across the country and led to an appeal from the prosecution, seeking a stiffer sentence, with the defence seeking acquittal.

Molla was nicknamed ‘Butcher of Mirpur’ due to the atrocities he carried out during the 1971 Liberation War.

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told journalists soon after the Jamaat leader’s appeal verdict was delivered on Wednesday that there ‘was no scope for a review’.

But he had told bdnews24.com on Tuesday, “Nothing can be said for certain since we don’t have a full copy of that verdict.”

The Appellate Division in December last year rejected a plea by Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Molla asking for a possible review of the verdict which raised his life sentence, handed down by the war crimes tribunal, to death penalty.

The International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh gave death sentence to Sayedee, the number two of the Islamist political party Jamaat-e-Islami, for murder, arson and genocide in 1971.

Molla’s initial sentence of life in prison sparked protests across the country and led to an appeal from the prosecution, seeking a stiffer sentence, with the defence seeking acquittal.

Molla was nicknamed ‘Butcher of Mirpur’ due to the atrocities he carried out during the 1971 Liberation War.

His review petition was rejected on Dec 12, 2013. He was hanged later that day at a minute after 10 o’clock at night.

The International Crimes Tribunal-1 sentenced Jamaat’s Assistant Secretary General Molla to life in prison Feb 5. The decision sparked a massive uproar among the people who felt it was ‘too lenient’ on the war criminal.

The International Crimes Tribunal Act was then amended and both sides were bestowed with the right to appeal against a verdict. The Appellate Division raised Molla’s sentence on Sept 17.

The full verdict was published within two and a half months and preparations were made to carry out the sentence on Dec 10 midnight. The family members of the Jamaat leader also visited him at his cell.

But the process was suddenly put on halt by Supreme Court Chamber Judge Syed Mahmud Hossain following a defence plea. Molla’s lawyers filed the plea for review that very night.

A hearing was held the next day on the validity of a review. The Appellate Division verdict of Dec 12 set the execution process in motion.

Molla’s chief counsel Abdur Razzaq argued in favour of a review and was later asked by Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain to begin the hearing on his main plea.

“The court did not give an order on whether review is maintainable. How can there be a hearing for the main review before it?” Razzaq had complained.

“We’re not saying that the review isn’t maintainable. If you say it is ‘maintainable’… we’re not going into argument with that. We’re allowing you a hearing on the merits of the appeal. Tell us your grounds,” the chief justice had told Razzaq.

উত্স: bdnews24.com

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