Published: Tuesday, August 6, 2013

90-year Jail

Ghulam Azam appeals to SC

Ghulam Azam now in prison uniformConvicted war criminal and former Jamaat-e-Islami ameer Ghulam Azam yesterday appealed to the Supreme Court seeking an overturn of his conviction and the 90-year jail sentence he received.
Finding him guilty in all charges, the International Crimes Tribunal-1 on July 15 sentenced Ghulam Azam to 90 years’ imprisonment for masterminding crimes against humanity, genocide and other war crimes during the Liberation War.
The tribunal had said Ghulam Azam deserved the capital punishment for his crimes, but it awarded him jail sentence considering his old age and poor  health.
In his appeal yesterday, Ghulam Azam said, “Legally, the tribunal judgment was not a verdict at all.”
Challenging the tribunal verdict, defence lawyer Tajul Islam and some other lawyers yesterday filed a 95-page appeal along with 9,500 pages of documents. Ghulam Azam mentioned 109 grounds for acquittal.
He said the Tribunal-1 had made a serious error in finding him liable, under section 4 (2) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973, for the commission of the offences in 1971.
He claimed that there had been nothing related to offences or crimes against humanity and genocide in the charges brought against him.
He said the tribunal had failed to understand that the charges framed against him under sections 3 (2), 4 (1) of the 1973 act were vague and unspecified and that he had been denied an effective opportunity to respond to the charges.
Meanwhile, Additional Attorney General and coordinator of the prosecutors MK Rahman told The Daily Star that the government was considering filing an appeal with the Supreme Court seeking death penalty for Ghulam Azam.