A verdict on Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayadee’s death sentence is due any day now, after the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court turned down appeals of both prosecution and defence on Wednesday.
The five-member Appellate division led by Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain observed after hearing arguments of both sides: “Both the petitions are rejected. Judgment CAV.”
The Latin term ‘Curia advisari vult’ (CAV for short) literally means ‘the court wishes to be advised’, meaning it reserves the judgment for another day.
This court had given such orders before.
The current order means that the judges would like to take time for deliberations after hearing both sides in the case. ‘CAV’ status means it has not taken any decision as yet.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam hoped Sayedee’s death penalty would be upheld in the final verdict.
Defence counsel SM Shahjahan said by law there was no scope to punish him.
On Tuesday, the bench ended hearing of both sides, but did not declare the verdict.
Rather, it scheduled the orders on two petitions, one from the defence and one from the prosecution, on Wednesday.
On Feb 28 last year, the ICT-1 pronounced a death sentence for Sayedee for his involvement in crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
Debate over Sayedee-Shikder
Both the prosecution and defence argued over Sayedee’s identity.
Attorney General Alam said, “The defence has talked about Delwar Mallick-Shikder. They tried to get our witnesses talk on the issue during cross examinations. But our witnesses have not said this anywhere.
“What is surprising is that they have not tried to make their witnesses say this. They (the witnesses) are silent about that.”
Sayedee’s chief counsel Khandker Mahbub Hossain said, “The charges (brought against Sayedee) might be right. But Delwar Hossain Sayedee is not involved with these incidents. Delwar Sayedee has been charged instead of Delwar Shikder.”
Sayadee’s defence has contended that the crimes against humanity were committed by Delwar Shikder and not by Sayedee while prosecution has argued that Shikder and Sayadee are one and the same person.
“This trial will become a history. The present and future generations will consider whether there has been fair justice,” Hossain said.
Additional Attorney General MK Rahman said the defence had tried to raise the similar debate during the trial of Quader Molla.
“They said butcher Quader and Quader Molla were not the same person. But they failed to prove that,” Rahman said.
Sayedee is popular for his religious sermons.
Rahman said, “No matter how popular he is as a religious preacher, he will have to face the punishment for the severe offences he committed in 1971.”
“If charges of murder, rape and forced conversion into another religion are proved he must be punished,” he said.
Of the 20 charges against him, Sayedee was given the death penalty for two – the murder of Ibrahim Kutti and Bisabali, and for setting fire to Hindu households in Pirojpur district in 1971.
Six other charges were also proven beyond doubt but no sentence was given as Sayadee had been already been given the death penalty.
On Mar 28 last year, Sayedee appealed against the death sentence, seeking acquittal.
The prosecution has appealed for punishment for the six other proven charges for the sake of ‘full justice’.
The hearing of Sayedee’s appeal began on Sep 24.
The Tribunal in its first verdict on Jan 21 last year had ordered the death sentence to former Jamaat leader Abul Kalam Azad aka Bachchu Razakar.
But he has not appealed against the verdict as he has been absconding.
In its second verdict on Feb 5 that year the Tribunal had sentenced Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Molla to life.
However, the Supreme Court, on Sept 17, had sentenced Molla to death after hearing appeals filed by Molla and the prosecution.
Molla was hanged on Dec 12.
The Tribunal ordered Sayedee’s death sentence in the third verdict.
Six more judgments are pending.
Source: Bd news24