The state has filed a review petition with the Supreme Court against its judgement that reduced the death penalty of notorious war criminal Delawar Hossain Sayedee to imprisonment until death.
The attorney general’s office submitted the petition yesterday to the Supreme Court registrar’s office seeking Sayedee’s capital punishment handed down by the International Crimes Tribunal in 2013.
This is the first case of war crimes trial in which the state has sought review to maintain the tribunal’s verdict.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam at his office told reporters that they had cited five reasons in support of Sayedee’s death sentence. They sought death penalty for Sayedee for killing Ibrahim Kutti and Bisa Bali.
He said the apex court would fix a date for conducting hearing on the review petition.
Mahbubey said that the highest sentence could not be maintained due to failure of the investigation agency and the prosecution of the tribunal.
Sayedee, known as “Deilya Razakar” in 1971, was given the death penalty on February 28, 2013 after the war crimes tribunal found him guilty of committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
He was sentenced to death for killing Ibrahim Kutti and one Bisa Bali in Pirojpur. The tribunal did not deliver sentence on the six other proven charges.
The Jamaat-e-Islami leader appealed against the tribunal verdict seeking acquittal while the state pleaded for sentence on the six other proven charges.
On September 17, 2014, the Appellate Division’s five-member bench headed by the then Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain delivered its short verdict based on majority judgement.
The full verdict was published on December 31 last year. According to the rules, a review petition has to be filed within 15 days after the full verdict is published.
The case against Sayedee was the first of its kind under the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973. The case faced great difficulties from its inception, having also been subjected to the greatest extent of conspiracies from quarters striving to derail the justice process, tribunal observers said.
This included, among others, the abduction of a key prosecution witness, defence obtaining the register of prosecution witnesses in the safe house, hacking of personal computers of ICT judges and illegal interception of their personal communications – all during the trial of Sayedee.
According to the state, the tribunal prosecutors had failed to provide the necessary documentary evidence in Sayedee’s case during the appeal hearing.
Asked whether there was any precedence in any court across the globe of increasing sentence on a review petition, Mahbubey yesterday said: “I did not scrutinise all the review petitions. But there can be new developments during trials. It depends on the court.”