17 August 2022

SC upholds death penalty of Jamaat leader Azhar

File photo - Photo Desk

The Supreme Court of Bangladesh today upheld the death penalty of ATM Azharul Islam, former central leader of country’s biggest Islamic party, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami leader, in charge of his crimes against humanity and war crimes during the Liberation War of the country in 1971.

The apex court delivered the verdict by allowing an appeal in part filed by Azhar challenging the International Crimes Tribunal’s verdict that sentenced him to death.

A four-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain came up with the verdict by majority view.

The ground and observation on which the Supreme Court delivered the verdict could not be known immediately as its full text has not been released yet.

Now, the convicted Jamaat leader can file a petition with the Supreme Court seeking review of the judgment.

The review petition will have to be filed in 15 days after the convict would receive the certified copy of the judgment.

If the SC rejects the review petition, ATM Azhar can seek president’s clemency. If the president does not grant the mercy petition, then the verdict of the death sentence will be executed.

Khandaker Mahbub Hossain, the principal defence lawyer of Azhar, told The Daily Star that this client will move a petition before the appellate division seeking review of the verdict.

On December 30, 2014, ICT-1 sentenced Azhar, assistant secretary general of Jamaat, with death penalty for committing crimes against humanity during the Liberation War.

Azhar later filed the appeal with the Supreme Court challenging the verdict where he claimed innocence and prayed to the Appellate Division to acquit him of the charges.


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