“They have filed mercy petitions,” Law Minister Anisul Huq told bdnews24.com around 2:30pm on Saturday.
They are the first death-row war-crime convicts to seek mercy from the head of state. The war criminals executed earlier had declined to do so.
While doing so, Salauddin and Mujahid have acknowledged the horrific crimes they perpetrated in 1971 to thwart Bangladesh’s independence.
Under the rules, prison authorities forward mercy petitions by death-row convicts to the home ministry, which then sends them to the law ministry. The petitions are submitted to the President by the law ministry.
“The President will take the decision upon consulting with the prime minister,” said Huq.
Before speaking with the law minister, bdnews24.com contacted Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal around 2:15pm.
“I have no message on this matter until now,” he told bdnews24.com, adding that he was aware of media reports over the war crimes convicts’ move to seek clemency.
bdnews24.com’s Kamal Talukder reported from in front of the Dhaka Central Jail that at 2:35pm Deputy Jailor Sarbattam Dewan was seen coming out with a file, which was marked ‘important documents’.
The prison official, however, evaded the press corps’ query over the documents.
Earlier on Saturday, the families of Salauddin Quader and Mujahid held separate press briefings, where they did not spell out anything clearly about a submission or otherwise of mercy petitions.
BNP leader Salauddin’s family told reporters that they would write to the President arguing that his trial had not been fair.
Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Mujahid’s family, on the other hand, urged the government not to execute him until the Aug 21 grenade attack case had been resolved.