Delwar Hossain Sayedee
The Appellate Division is set to deliver its decision today on the appeal filed by Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee against an international crimes tribunal verdict that had sentenced him to death on war crimes charges. The court will also give judgement on an appeal filed by the government seeking Sayedee’s conviction on six other charges. On April 16, the five-judge bench of chief justice Md Muzammel Hossain, Justice SK Sinha, Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, Justice Hasan Foez Siddique and Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury completed hearing of the appeals and kept its verdict pending. Both the appeals were posted on both print and website cause lists of the Appellate Division for pronouncement of verdict. In a press statement, Jamaat-e-Islami on Tuesday demanded ‘immediate release’ of Sayedee. The government on Tuesday evening tightened security across the country ahead of the verdict. The country, particularly Dhaka city and some other districts, witnessed violent protests after the International Crimes Tribunal handed down death sentence to Sayedee. At least 84 people, including six policemen, were killed in the violence unleashed by Jamaat-Shibir activists after the verdict was pronounced on February 28, 2013. Sayedee’s verdict will be the second of the six war crimes appeals now pending with the Appellate Division. On September 17, 2013, the five-member Appellate Division bench delivered a majority verdict of four judges to one and handed down death sentence to Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Molla on a government appeal against an International Crimes Tribunal verdict on February 5 that had sentenced him to life in prison. On December 12, 2013 Molla was executed at Dhaka Central Jail after the Appellate Division in a full-court hearing turned down a petition which had sought review of the court’s earlier judgment sentencing Quader Molla to death for an offence involving the killing of six members of a family at the outset of the country’s War of Independence. On February 28, ICT-1 sentenced Sayedee to death on two counts of crime against humanity, including for killing Ibrahim Kutty on May 8, 1971. Sayedee was tried on 20 counts of crime against humanity and the trial court sentenced him to death on two charges – killing Ibrahim Kutti and Bisabali, and for setting fire to Hindu houses in the then Pirojpur subdivision in 1971. The tribunal had not passed any sentence for six other charges Sayedee was found guilty of, said the government’s appeal. He was acquitted of 12 other charges. On March 28, 2013, Sayedee appealed against the death sentence, seeking acquittal. On the same day, the prosecution appealed for his punishment on the six other proven charges for the sake of ‘full justice’. Beginning on September 24, 2013, the apex court heard the appeal petitions on 49 working days. Both the sides spent considerable time on Sayedee’s identity. The defence had claimed that the crimes against humanity were committed by Delwar Sikder and not by Sayedee while the prosecution contended that Sikder and Sayadee were the same person. Sayedee was wrongfully implicated in the case only to harass him politically, the defence argued. The defence had said Sayedee was not named in the First Information Report filed on July 16, 1972 by Ibrahim’s widow Momtaz Begum accusing 13 Razakar Bahini men of killing her husband. They had also pointed out that the charge sheet submitted to the local magistrate’s court on September 29, 1972 also did not name Sayedee as an accused in the Ibrahim Kutti murder case. Inspector general of police Hassan Mahmood Khandaker told New Age that police had taken adequate security measures, particularly for risk prone areas. The police are prepared to maintain law and order. RAB’s legal and media wing director Mufti Mahmud Khan said that the battalion had intensified intelligence activities and patrols. He said the battalion would stay alert and guard the streets, especially in Dhaka and other unsafe districts to prevent violence.
Source: New Age