‘No scope for reviewing verdict’

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam has said there is no scope for an appeal seeking review of the Supreme Court verdict that sentenced Abdul Quader Molla to death for murders and rape during the 1971 Liberation War.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 17 Sept 2013, 05:26 AM
Updated : 17 Sept 2013, 09:15 AM

An Appellate Division bench, headed by Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain, issued the verdict on Tuesday on pleas by both the defence and prosecution against the Jamaat Assistant Secretary General’s life sentence.

Mahbubey Alam said that the legal process had ended with the appeal verdict and that Molla could only seek mercy from the President.

He will be hanged if the President rejects his mercy plea.

“This special Act has been formulated by Amending the Constitution. It says the tribunal will try cases and gives opportunities for appealing against the verdict with the Appellate Division.

“The Act does not give any other opportunities. And so there is no opportunity for review,” said the Attorney General.

Chief defence counsel Abdur Razzaq, however, differed saying the Constitution gives the opportunity.

“Pleading for a review is Quader Molla’s constitutional right. The Supreme Court was created by the Constitution, not by the ICT Act,” he said.

Mahbubey Alam said he and Razzaq had expressed their own opinions. “The court will decide on the matter.”

He said the full verdict would be first sent to the tribunal, which will issue a summons, and then the prison authorities would take actions as per the law.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had told Parliament that she hoped the war crimes verdicts would be executed during the tenure of this government.

File Photo

The second war crimes tribunal of Bangladesh had sentenced Molla to life in prison on Feb 5, acquitting him one of the six charges. The defence had appealed, seeking acquittal, while the prosecution sought the maximum penalty.

A five-member Appellate Division bench gave a verdict on both pleas, accepting the prosecution’s appeal.

The bench maintained the tribunal’s sentence on the first, second, third and fifth charges while the fourth one was revised to life term by a majority.

Molla was found guilty of the sixth charge unanimously but was given death by a 4-1 majority.

Attorney General Alam said the verdict purged the nation of a stigma and was the realisation of the people’s demand.

“It is a momentous achievement for an independent country.

“The independence is incomplete without punishing those who had collaborated with foreign powers and murdered people of their own country during the Liberation War,” he said.

Investigation Officer of Quader Molla’s case, Sanaul Haq, termed the verdict a milestone for Bangladesh.

The prosecution expressed satisfaction over the verdict. Prosecutor Tureen Afroz said the prosecution was able to prove Molla’s crimes.

Freedom fighters, present at the court were also satisfied with the death sentence.

“Now, the nation’s only wish is to purge Bangladesh of the stigma by carrying out the verdict,” said freedom fighter Jahiruddin Jalal aka ‘Bichchhu Jalal’.

Jahangirnagar University Vice Chancellor Prof Anowar Hossain said the verdict was a victory for the new generation, which had gathered in hundreds of thousands at Shahbagh within a few days.

“The Supreme Court had given the verdict due to the demonstrations at Shahbagh,” he said.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher