Sayedee files review plea, seeks acquittal
Convicted war criminal Delawar Hossain Sayedee yesterday filed a petition seeking review of the Supreme Court verdict that commuted his death sentence to imprisonment until death.
Sayedee's advocate-on-record Zainal Abedin Tuhin submitted the petition to the appeal section of the SC seeking acquittal in all the five charges in which he was found guilty by this court.
In the 90-page petition, Sayedee mentioned 16 grounds and appealed to the SC to consider his prayer for acquittal, Masud Bin Sayedee, son of the convict, told The Daily Star.
On January 12, the government filed a review petition with the SC seeking death penalty for Sayedee.
The following day, Sayedee instructed his lawyers, who went to meet him at Kashimpur Jail-1 in Gazipur, to submit a petition on his behalf to the SC seeking acquittal of the charges.
After his review petition was filed yesterday, Sayedee's principal counsel Khandker Mahbub Hossain told reporters at the Supreme Court Bar Association auditorium that the government has no legal right to move a review petition seeking capital punishment for Sayedee.
Sentencing an accused is the discretionary power of the judges if an offence is found to be proved, but the government cannot pray to the judges to increase the punishment, he said, adding that the government had submitted the review petition to create a pressure on Sayedee.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told The Daily Star that there is no legal bar for the government to move a review petition before the SC seeking an increase in punishment of the convict.
He said his office was planning to submit an application to the SC for fixing a date for hearing the review petitions.
The International Crimes Tribunal-1 on February 28, 2013, sentenced Sayedee to death for killing Ibrahim Kutti and one Bisa Bali in Pirojpur in 1971, even though it had found him guilty on eight charges filed against him.
Following two appeals by Sayedee and the government, a five-member bench of the apex court on September 17, 2014, delivered a short order based on majority views commuting Sayedee's death sentence to imprisonment until death.
Of the judges, Justice Md Muzammel Hossain (now retired), Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha (now the chief justice), and Justice Hasan Foez Siddique gave Sayedee imprisonment until death.
They sentenced him to 12 years' rigorous imprisonment for killing Ibrahim Kutti and imprisonment until death for murdering Bisa Bali in Pirojpur. The SC bench also found Sayedee guilty on three more charges and acquitted him of three others.
Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah acquitted him of all charges, and Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik (now retired) upheld the capital punishment.