• Thursday, Oct 22, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:03 am

Countdown to Jamaat leader Azharul's execution begins

  • Published at 08:29 pm March 16th, 2020
web-Jamaat-e-Islami - ATM Azharul Islam
Jamaat-e-Islami leader ATM Azharul Islam

On receipt of the warrant, the countdown to the execution of war criminal ATM Azharul Islam got under way

The countdown to former Jamaat-e-Islami assistant secretary general ATM Azharul Islam's execution begins with the death warrant having reached the jail from the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) on Monday afternoon.

War crimes convict Azharul now has two options before him –file a review petition with the Appellate division, and if the verdict upholds the death sentence after the review petition hearing, the Jamaat leader will then have the option of filing a mercy petition to the president. 

In the event of a rejection of the petition for mercy, the government will move to execute the death row inmate.

Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Deputy Registrar of ICT Amit Kumar Dey said: "The death warrant has been sent to Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj and the district magistrate of Dhaka."

Md Zahirul Islam Zahid and Taposh Chyandra Roy, officials of the ICT, conveyed the death warrant to the jail authorities.

On receipt of the warrant, the countdown to the execution of war criminal ATM Azharul Islam got under way. 

ICT Prosecutor Razia Sultana Chaman said, however, that  if the convict filed a review petition, the countdown would be paused. After disposing of the petition, the government may take steps to carry out the verdict.

Meanwhile, Advocate Mohammad Shishir Monir, defence counsel for ATM Azharul Islam, has said: "As per law, we will file a review petition within 15 days of receiving the certified copy of the verdict."

"Before the disposal of the review petition, there is no option to raise concerns over a mercy petition."

On October 31 last year, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of former Jamaat-e-Islami assistant secretary general ATM Azharul Islam on charges of crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 Liberation War.

The apex court based on a majority decision upheld the death sentence handed down to the Jamaat leader by the ICT on charges of involvement in murder and genocide, along with a five-year prison sentence on different charges relating to abduction and torture.

The Appellate Division, however, acquitted Azharul of the charges of abetting the Pakistani military in detaining, raping and torturing women in Rangpur town, for which he had been sentenced to 25 years of rigorous imprisonment.

On December 30, 2014, International Crimes Tribunal-1 convicted ATM Azharul in the war crimes case, after finding him guilty in five of the six charges leveled against him.

Former Jamaat leader Azharul, who was arrested from his Moghbazar home in Dhaka in 2012 on war crimes charges, had filed the appeal against his death sentence on January 28, 2015.

On June 18, the Appellate Division began hearing arguments on the appeal from both the state and the defense team.

The court completed hearings and deferred the matter as a Case Awaiting Verdict (CAV) on July 10.

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