Tribunal issues Quader Molla’s death warrant
Published: 2013-12-08 16:45:32.0 BdST Updated: 2013-12-09 02:24:52.0 BdST
The International Crimes Tribunal has issued Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Molla’s death warrant.
This came hours after the tribunal received a full verdict on his death sentence on Sunday from the Supreme Court.
International Crimes Tribunal’s Deputy Registrar Arunava Chakrabarty took the document wrapped in traditional red cloth to the prison authorities in the afternoon.
However, the Jamaat has reacted to this by calling a nationwide daylong general strike for Monday. The party claimed their Assistant Secretary General was a victim of the government’s ‘plot for political murder’.
The Ganajagaran Mancha at Shahbagh has demanded the war crimes convict’s death sentence be executed before the Victory Day – on Dec 16.
Prison officials said the Jamaat leader has been informed of the death warrant issued for him. Molla, however, has sought to speak with his lawyers.
ICT Deputy Registrar Arunava Chakrabarty had taken the death warrant wrapped in red cloth to the prison authorities.
Registrar AKM Nasir Uddin in the afternoon told reporters they had also sent a copy of the warrant to the home ministry and relevant authorities.
“The rest of the formalities will be undertaken by the prison authorities,” he said.
The prison authorities are now expected to ask Molla whether he wishes to appeal for clemency from the President, said Nasir Uddin.
Also widely known as the ‘Butcher of Mirpur’, Molla will have to file a petition within the next seven days, said ICT prosecutor Mohammad Ali.
The countdown began on Thursday, the day the Appellate Division published the full verdict of the death sentence of Molla.
Tribunal officials said the prison authorities would execute the death warrant if Molla’s mercy petition was rejected.
However, as Molla was given the death penalty, former Law Minister Shafique Ahmed had said then that clemency in these situations was usually not granted anywhere in the world.
The tribunal had sentenced Quader Molla to life in prison on Feb 5 for war crimes during Bangladesh’s 1971 Liberation War.
Of the six charges against Molla, the International Crimes Tribunal-2 acquitted him of one, and sentenced him to life for murder and rape in two charges. For the rest, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
The life term, widely considered light for the Jamaat leader, sparked off a wave of anger and frustration, drawing people to Shahbagh to form mass protests.
The spontaneous vigil that continued for several more weeks at Shahbagh intersection drew tens of thousands of protesters shutting off traffic through the busy thoroughfare.
The protest spread to other districts across the country as men, women and children demanded maximum penalty for war criminals from the rally, dubbed as Ganajagaran Mancha— meaning people’s uprising.
The government filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against the sentence on Mar 3. Molla also appealed for an acquittal.
Later on Sept 17, the apex court raised the sentence from life term to death sentence.
Molla’s lawyers, however, maintain that there is a provision to review the Supreme Court’s ruling, which raised the sentence from a life term given by the war crimes tribunal.
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