War crimes death row inmate and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid has decided to file review petition, instructing his lawyers to file a petition in the Appellate Division seeking review of its verdict that had upheld his death sentence.
He gave the instruction when his lawyer Shishir Manir met him along with a team of four other junior lawyers in the Dhaka Central jail for about half an hour in the morning. Later, Manir told New Age that his client gave the instruction to file the review petition within the stipulated time after getting the certified copy of the apex court’s verdict.
‘Our client told us that he could not understand why his death sentence was upheld though there was no specific allegation against him,’ the lawyer said.
He said that Mujahid was physically and mentally fit and conveyed his Ramadan greetings to the country men.
“The petition will be filed in 15 days after getting the copy of the full judgement.”
Earlier, a five-member team of lawyers, led by Advocate Shisir Monir, entered the central jail around 11am Saturday, four days after the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty to the Jamaat leader for crimes against humanity during 1971 war.
The other members of the team are Moshiul Alam, Kamal Uddin, Najibur Rahman and Matiur Rahman Akand.
Later, they left the central jail around 11:40am, said Farman Ali, senior jail super of the prison.
The four-member Appellate Division bench headed by Chief Justice SK Sinha, upheld the capital punishment of Ali Ahsan Mujahid, also the Jamaat-e-Islami secretary general, on the charge of killing of intellectuals during the nation’s struggle for independence.
The verdict has sparked joyous celebrations by progressive elements in Shahbag, while it has generated a spark of outcry among Jamaat-e-Islami supporters, who see the verdict as a mark of injustice and a result of a political vendetta rather than a real attempt at trial. The inconsistencies inherent throughout the trial process of Mujahid have been questioned by both rights groups and lawyers of the defendant. After the verdict, Ali Ahmad Mabrur, the son of the defendant, asked, “Which intellectual did my father kill?”
On July 17 last year, International Crimes Tribunal 2 awarded the death penalty to the 69-year-old Jamaat leader, who served as social welfare minister (technocrat) during the BNP-Jamaat alliance’s 2011-06 tenure.
He was found guilty in five out of the seven charges and sentenced to death in two of them.
Mujahid appealed against the tribunal verdict on August 11, 2013 and the hearing began on April 29 this year.
The Jamaat leader was arrested on June 29, 2010 on charges of hurting religious sentiment and defying court orders.
He was later shown arrested the war crimes case on August 8. The tribunal indicted him on June 21, 2012.