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War crimes: Five Gaibandha men to walk the gallows

  • Published at 12:10 pm October 15th, 2019
War Crime-icc
International Crimes Tribunal

The convicts are Md Ranju Mia, Abdul Jabbar Mondol, Md Jasijar Rahman Khoka, Md Abdul Wahed Mondol and Md Momtaz Ali Bepari

The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) has sentenced five people from Gaibandha to death for committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.

The three-member tribunal, headed by Justice Md Justice Shahinur Islam, handed down the judgment on Tuesday.

The convicts are Md Ranju Mia, Abdul Jabbar Mondol, Md Jasijar Rahman Khoka, Md Abdul Wahed Mondol and Md Momtaz Ali Bepari.

Of them, only Ranju is currently behind bars, while the others are still on the run.

All five were either involved with Jamaat-e-Islami or enlisted in the Razakar Force, both of which had collaborated with the Pakistan Army during the Liberation War.

The prosecution had levelled four charges against them over a number of counts of war crimes — including abduction, confinement, torture, plunder, murder, deportation and other inhumane acts.

Ranju was served death sentence in charges No 1 and 4. Others four accused were given the capital punishment, in absentia, on all charges.

The ICT prosecution team, headed by Chief Prosecutor Golam Arif Tipu, and defence lawyer Abul Hasan were present, among others, when the verdict was delivered.

Prosecutor Moklesur Rahman Badol said they were pleased with the judgment.

Abul, who represented Ranju during the hearings, said: “We are enraged. My client was only a 14-year-old during the Liberation War. He was not old enough to join the Razakar Force or form Peace Committee.”

Abul, who is also the state appointed lawyer for the other four war criminals, told reporters that they would move the Appellate Division challenging the verdict. 

According to the country’s International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, any convicted person can appeal against the verdict only after surrendering.

The tribunal on July 21 had adjourned the judgment in the war crimes case after hearing the closing arguments from both sides. On Monday, it had fixed Tuesday to deliver the verdict.

Six people were initially accused in the case. But one of the accused, Azgar Hossain Khan, died before the trial started.

The trial proceedings had commenced after the tribunal indicted the five others on May 17 last year.