Nizami's review verdict likely tomorrow
The Supreme Court is set to pass an order tomorrow on a petition filed by war criminal Motiur Rahman Nizami seeking review of its verdict that upheld his death penalty for his wartime crimes.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha fixed the date yesterday after concluding hearing on the petition.
The other judges of the bench are Justice Nazmun Ara Sultana, Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain and Justice Hasan Foez Siddique.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam expressed the hope that the apex court would uphold the death penalty of Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Nizami. Defence lawyer Khandker Mahbub Hossain on the other side expected “justice” for his client.
During hearing of the review petition yesterday, the attorney general prayed to the SC to uphold Nizami's death penalty, saying the International Crimes Tribunal-1 had sentenced him to death rightly based on relevant evidence and documents and statements of witnesses.
The Appellate Division also properly upheld the ICT-1 verdict after examining the relevant evidence and documents and statements of witnesses and there was no scope for the SC for reviewing its verdict, he argued.
Mahbubey Alam also argued that the Jamaat chief had instigated the Al-Badr, an auxiliary force of the Pakistani occupational army, through delivering speeches and writing articles in newspapers to commit the crimes against humanity including killing the intellectuals during the country's Liberation War in 1971.
Defence counsel Khandker Mahbub Hossain has meanwhile told the SC that there is no scope to sentence Nizami to death, as he had no direct participation in the offences mentioned in the charges brought against him.
The prosecution have failed to prove the charges against Nizami, he said, adding that a collaborator cannot be punished, as 195 Pakistani prisoners of war have been released without any trial under a 1974 Indira-Mujib Treaty.
Khandker Mahbub Hossain, however, did not place any arguments against the two charges on which the SC has upheld his client's life imprisonment.
The ICT-1 on October 29, 2014 handed down the death penalty on Nizami on four charges of war crimes, including murdering intellectuals during the war. The 71-year-old was also awarded life imprisonment on four other charges.
The SC on January 6 this year upheld his death sentence on three charges and life term imprisonment on two other charges. The ICT issued the death warrant against him hours after the SC had released its full verdict on March 15.