Law minister says president's absence will not be a problem if Mir Quasem files mercy petition

Law Minister Anisul Huq has said the president's being out of the country on health grounds will not delay the outcome of the mercy petition if Mir Quasem Ali files it.

Published : 30 August 2016, 02:58 PM
Updated : 30 August 2016, 02:58 PM

On being asked by the press at the Secretariat on Tuesday, the minister said, "There is no such provision within the law that says he (the president) cannot check files while staying abroad."

"If they seek mercy, the issue will be disposed of at the earliest as per the law," he said.

President Md Abdul Hamid is currently in London for eye treatment and medical check-up. He is scheduled to return home on Sep 4.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court sealed the fate of Jamaat-e-Islami business baron Mir Quasem by refusing to review the death penalty it had upheld in March for atrocities he committed during the 1971 Liberation War.

The verdict lifted all legal bars to executing his death sentence, leaving the pro-Pakistan Al-Badr militia commander with one last option - seeking the president's mercy by repenting for his crimes.

The government will execute the sentence if he does not seek clemency or the president rejects his petition.

The law minister said even after committing atrocities on the people of Bangladesh some people with the help from "some rulers" had continued to exploit the people for 21 years.

"Today I wish to thank the people of Bangladesh for their patience. They had understood that one day the law would catch up with these people. I also wish to thank the prime minister for standing firmly by the promise she had made to the people", he said.

Reacting to the chief justice expressing dissatisfaction on the prosecution's role, the minister said "When the chief justice makes an observation, it deserves introspection. We shall look into it and see what prompted him to make the statement".

The chief justice had raised questions on the prosecution's role in the case, and had said that those on the prosecution side "do not deserve to be in that role".

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam had also observed during the hearing that Quasem was acquitted in one of the two charges that had earned him the death sentence on appeal. He blamed the "incompetence" of the prosecution and the investigating agency for it.

On the issue of the Tribunal being shifted, he said a decision on the issue would be taken after proper consultations and considerations.