The jail authorities may submit today the health report of Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami, who was awaiting a verdict in war crimes cases last Tuesday. The verdict, however, was postponed “due to his sickness”.
"His [Nizami's] health condition has improved since the night before yesterday [early Tuesday]. He is talking now,” Brig Gen Syed Iftekhar Uddin, Inspector General of Prisons, told The Daily Star yesterday.
“But we didn't give the report [on Nizami's health] today [Wednesday] as it would have been incomplete since he is still under observation at his prison cell in Dhaka Central Jail,” he said.
“We hope to submit the complete health report tomorrow [Thursday] morning to the International Crimes Tribunal,” he added.
The International Crimes Tribunal-1 on Tuesday postponed the verdict “due to the illness” of the 71-year-old Nizami as the three-member court found it “irrational to deliver judgment in the absence of accused”.
Nizami, a former minister in the BNP-led four-party government, faces 16 charges, including of genocide, committed during the Liberation War in 1971.
When asked why Nizam had not been sent to any public or even jail hospital, Iftekhar said, "He [Nizami] had complained of physical discomfort on Monday night, which was later diagnosed as a rise in blood pressure.”
"But there was no chest pain. So the doctors did not think it necessary to shift him to a hospital," he said, adding that a jail doctor treating Nizami at his prison cell.
A source in the jail said Nizami started feeling nervous around midnight early Tuesday. When two jail doctors came around 3:00am and checked him, they found his blood pressure high.
There was a discussion on shifting him to a hospital but finally it was not done, the source claimed.
Meanwhile, AKM Nasiruddin Mahmud, registrar and spokesperson of the tribunal, said once received, the report would be submitted to the tribunal judges.
“On the basis of the report, the tribunal will determine the next step," he told The Daily Star yesterday.
The tribunal on Monday fixed Tuesday for delivering the verdict in Nizami's case. But the court for the third time kept the verdict waiting for an indefinite period of time due to Nizami's "sickness”, prolonging justice seekers' decades-long wait.