It has put on hold the execution of the war crimes convict until
Thursday is the last working day of the Appellate
Division before winter vacation.
If the issue is not resolved by
Thursday, the execution of the verdict might have to wait until the next year,
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said.
The full bench led by Chief Justice
Md Muzammel Hossain started hearing the stay petition on the Jamaat-e-Islami
leader’s execution at 10am.
Molla's counsel Khandaker Mahbub Hossain told
the court that they had filed a petition to review the Supreme Court's verdict
with the Chamber Judge on Tuesday night.
The defence also asked to extend
the stay order on Molla's execution.
The Appellate Division then decided
it will start hearings at 11.30am to examine if Molla's review petition is
'maintainable' and stayed the execution until further notice.
Jamaat Assistant Secretary General was scheduled to be hanged a minute after
midnight on Tuesday.
But a last-minute attempt by his lawyers saw the
Supreme Court Chamber Judge stay the execution until 10:30am Wednesday, which
now stands stopped until further notice.
The Prosecution has maintained
that as a war crime convict, Molla is not entitled to a review petition, but his
counsels have argued he has the right to seek a review.
Barrister Abdur Razzaq said in the hearing they hoped to get the scope of filing
a review petition in the case taken up by the International Crimes
The case was filed over incidents that happened 4o years ago,
he said. He demanded justice in the case.
The Chief Justice then asked
him to talk about the maintainability of the review petition.
sought two days to file the review petition.
Attorney General Mahbubey
Alam argued that the convict was not entitled to review petition. “This is an
attempt to linger the process.”
He said if the defence was given two days
the execution of the verdict would extend until the next year.
activities of the court take place during the winter vacation.
Justice again asked Razzaq to continue his argument on the maintainability of
the review petition.
“We will hear the merit later. This is a minor
issue. You (Razzaq) are a senior lawyer. You are able to do that. We are not in
a hurry, but where does the issue stand?”
Razzaq said, “I am incapable of
doing so. The Attorney General is capable of that since he is senior to
The Chief Justice asked him who the senior advocate was for filing
the review petition.
After going through pages, the court said, “You are
the senior advocate. You have agreed to take the responsibility. Let’s start
Then the court set 11.30am to hear maintainability
of the review petition.
Many lawyers backed by the Jamaat-e-Islami were
present at the Supreme Court. They were seen raising slogans after the court
Three hours before the execution was postponed, State Minister
for Home Shamsul Hque Tuku and State Miniser for Law Qamrul Islam announced that
the war crimes convict would be hanged on Tuesday midnight.
authorities got ready to hang him one minute past Tuesday midnight. Molla’s
family members met him for the last time.
Chamber Judge Justice Syed
Mahmud Hossain on Tuesday night suspended the execution of Molla’s death
sentence until 10:30am Wednesday after the Jamaat-e-Islami leader’s lawyers
After getting out of the Chamber Judge’s residence, Razzaq
said they had secured an order for suspension of the execution of the sentence
until 10:30am Wednesday.
Supreme Court Registrar AKM Shamsul Islam
told bdnews24.com that an order of this nature had reached them. “We are
contacting the prison authorities,” he said.
However, the prison
authorities were ready to execute the death sentence . Around 10:45pm, one of
Molla’s lawyers Farid Uddin arrived at the jail gate to deliver a copy of the
He told reporters, “The Chamber Judge has given the stay
order. We are here to inform the prison authorities.”
Surgeon was seen entering the jail nearly at the same time Farid Uddin
Several minutes later, Abdur Razzaq also arrived there. After
meeting the prison officials, he told reporters at the jail gate about the
Chamber Judge’s order.
As the previously set execution time, 12:01am,
passed, Senior Superintendent Farman Ali confirmed the stay order on Molla’s
The International Crimes Tribunal had on Sunday issued the
death warrant for Molla on receiving a copy of the full version of the Supreme
Court’s death verdict.
Earlier, Bangladesh's second war crimes tribunal
on Feb 5 had sentenced Molla to life imprisonment for killings, rapes and
looting during the War of Independence in 1971.
Perceived to be too
lenient a penalty, it sparked off a wave of anger and frustration, drawing
thousands of protestors to the iconic Shahbagh crossway, birthplace of the
youth-led civil uprising.
The mass protest that ran for weeks and spread
to the whole of Bangladesh was later dubbed “Bangla Spring’.
Islamist party had issued threat of a ‘civil war’ the day prior to the verdict
on Quader Molla.
Amid protests, the prosecution moved the Supreme Court
against the verdict. The highest court, on Oct 17, revised the life term to a
Supporters of the Jamaat went berserk across Bangladesh
since Tuesday evening after news spread that Molla would be hanged at midnight.
They attacked the houses of Awami League leaders at several places.
Jamaat has also called a nationwide daylong general strike for Wednesday. It
threatened that the ‘political death’ of the ruling party if Quader Molla was