Verdict on Quader Mollah appeals any day

Abdul Quader Mollah victory salute

July 23, 2013

The Supreme Court (SC) will deliver its verdict any day on the appeals filed against the International Crimes Tribunal verdict sentencing life term imprisonment to Jamaat-e-Islami leader Quader Mollah for war crimes.

After concluding the hearing on the appeals from the both sides, the five-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain kept the matter for delivering verdict.

Earlier, in the morning Attorney General Mahbubey Alam concluded his final argument before the apex court.

During the appeal hearing, the chief defence counsel Barrister Abdur Razzaq raised a legal question before the apex court saying that the government appeal would not be applicable in Quader Mollah’s case as it was not filed through the proper legal procedure.

Then, the Appellate Division bench of the Supreme Court on June 20 appointed seven amici curiae (friends of the court) for legal opinion on two issues — whether the trial of war crimes falls under the purview of the international customary law, and whether the amendment of the ICT Act on February 17 can come into effect from July 14, 2009.

The seven amici curiae are: TH Khan, Mahmudul Islam, Rafique-ul Huq, M Amir-Ul Islam, Rokanuddin Mahmud, AF Hasan Ariff and Ajmalul Hossain, QC.

All the amici curiae have already submitted their opinions before the apex court over the matter. But, the amici curiae made contradictory statements before the apex court over the issue.

Parliament on February 17 this year amended the ICT Act, providing for equal right of appeal by both the convict and the prosecution. Earlier, the prosecution had no right of appeal in this regard except in case of acquittal of the accused.

Later, the prosecution filed the appeal seeking the death penalty for lifer Quader Mollah and challenged his acquittal on one charge. On the other hand, the Jamaat leader appealed against his life term.

On February 5 this year, International Crimes Tribunal-2 handed down life imprisonment to Quader Mollah on charges of committing crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971.

On March 3, the government filed the appeal seeking death penalty for Qader Mollah. The convict filed another appeal the following day seeking acquittal.

Source: Bangladesh Independent News Network