Death-row war criminal Nizami’s review verdict reaches Dhaka Central Jail after SC publishes it

Full verdict on Nizami’s review appeal, wrapped in red cloth, is being taken to the Dhaka Central Jail by an ICT official.

Full verdict on Nizami’s review appeal, wrapped in red cloth, is being taken to the Dhaka Central Jail by an ICT official.

 The Final Supreme Court verdict rejecting war criminal Motiur Rahman Nizami’s petition for a review of his death sentence has been read out to him in the Dhaka Central Jail.

The Appellate Division released the 22-page full verdict around 3:30pm on Sunday after its signing by the judges. It was also published on the Supreme Court’s website.

Appellate Division Additional Registrar Arunav Chakraborty then took the judgement copies to the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) in the afternoon.

Chakraborty told bdnews24.com that three copies of the verdict had been submitted to the ICT – one each for the tribunal, jail authorities, and the Dhaka district magistrate.

Besides, copies have also been sent to the home ministry and lawyers of the convict and the prosecution, he added.

Around 6:45pm, ICT Registrar Shahidul Islam Jhinuk said the tribunal also issued orders to take measures in line with the verdict.

He said the copies of the judgement and the ICT order were sent to the Dhaka Central Jail, where Jamaat-e-Islami chief Nizami is currently lodged, the law ministry, and the others concerned.

ICT Deputy Registrar Keshob Roy Chowdhury and other tribunal officials were seen entering the prison on Old Dhaka’s Nazimuddin Road around 7pm.

Jail Senior Superintendent Jahangir Kabir received the copy of the full verdict five minutes later.

Around 8:30pm, Kabir confirmed to bdnews24.com that the verdict had been read out to Nizami in his cell.

Now, prison authorities will read out the verdict to Nizami and ask whether he will seek mercy from the president after admitting his guilt, the only option left for him before the execution of the judgment.

The government will ask the jail authorities to carry out the execution if he does not use the option or is denied mercy by the president.

Nizami was sentenced to death by the ICT on Oct 29, 2014, for atrocities committed as commander of Al-Badr, a vigilante militia that assisted the Pakistan army during Bangladesh’s Liberation War.

An appellate bench, headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, on Jan 6, upheld the maximum penalty for the Jamaat chief, after an appeal hearing.

His death warrant was issued by the war crimes tribunal after the Supreme Court published the full copy of its verdict on Mar 16.

The same bench dismissed his review petition on May 5.

# Chief Justice SK Sinha wrote the review verdict.

# Other members of the bench – Justice Nazmun Ara Sultana, Justice Syed AB Mahmud Husain and Justice Hasan Foez Siddique – agreed with the judgment.

# The appeal verdict had upheld Nizami’s death sentence on charges 2, 6 and 16 for rape, murder and killings of intellectuals. Rejection of his review petition has confirmed his punishment.

# The Appellate Division had acquitted Nizami in charges 1, 3 and 4, and upheld life in prison on charges 7 and 8. In the review plea, the defence had not given any argument against the conviction on charges 7 and 8

# The court at the end of the verdict observed that the petitioner did not take any exception as regards Nizami’s conviction and sentence with respect to charges 7 and 8. “Therefore, the petitioner’s involvement and complicity in the perpetration of offences of crimes against humanity and genocide have been impliedly admitted by the accused. More so, in view of the submission of the learned Counsel to commute the sentence, the petitioner cannot dispute his involvement in those offences.”

# “We find no merit in this petition. It is, accordingly, dismissed,” said the top court.

Nizami was brought to the Dhaka Central Jail from Gazipur’s Kashimpur prison on Sunday night.

The members of his family visited him in prison on Friday after the review petition was turned down.

They, however, said nothing about the possibility of the 73-year-old seeking mercy.

Abdul Quader Molla, who came to be known as the ‘Butcher of Mirpur’ for rapes and murders during the Liberation War, was the first to be executed after being condemned by the first tribunal, set up in 2010.

The Jamaat assistant secretary general was hanged in the Dhaka Central Jail on Dec 12, 2013.

Md Kamaruzzaman, another assistant secretary general of the party that has been dubbed as a ‘criminal organisation’ by the tribunal, was the second to be hanged, on Apr 11, 2015, for crimes against humanity.

The review petitions of both men had been heard and dismissed within a day.

The government, before going ahead with their execution, said they had not sought presidential mercy.

Jamaat Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury were sent to the gallows together on Nov 21, 2015, after being denied mercy by the president, the government had said.

The Appellate Division is due to hear review petitions filed by both the prosecution and defence for the case of another top Jamaat leader, Delwar Hossain Sayedee, whose sentence was reduced from death to imprisonment until death following an appeal.

Source: Bd news24

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