Published: Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mollah execution stayed

Late evening move earns stay till 10:30am tomorrow


Mollah’s counsel Barrister Abdur Razzaq arrives at the Dhaka Central Jail with the Supreme Court Chamber Judge’s stay order on the execution of Quader Mollah. Photo: TV grab

The execution of war criminal Abdul Quader Mollah has been stayed till 10:30am tomorrow following a late evening move the defence to seek review of the death penalty.

“We have handed the stay order to the jail authorities,” Abdur Razzak, Mollah’s chief counsel, told journalists in front of the main gate of Dhaka Central Jail, where the death row convict has been kept at 11:15pm.

The jail authorities were to complete some formalities in compliance with the Chamber Judge’s order, he added.

Half an hour earlier, Forman Ali, senior jail superintendent of the prisons, told The Daily Star that they came to know about the order through the media.

“We have yet to receive it in our hands,” he said, adding that the jail authorities were waiting to get the order before taking any decision.

The jail authorities were earlier set to execute Mollah at 12:01 tonight.

Chamber Judge Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order around 10:15pm as the authorities of Dhaka Central Jail completed almost all preparation to hang him at one minute past 12.

This Star photo taken on February 5 shows, getting life term from a war crimes tribunal, Quader Mollah flashes the V-sign that triggered widespread outrage. The condemned criminal known as Koshai Quader will be executed after zero hours tonight.

This Star photo taken on February 5 shows, getting life term from a war crimes tribunal, Quader Mollah flashes the V-sign that triggered widespread outrage. The condemned criminal known as Koshai Quader will be executed after zero hours tonight.

Mollah, known as Koshai (butcher) Quader for his brutal style of torture on the freedom-seeking people during the country’s 1971 Liberation War, could become the first war criminal to be hanged had the jail authorities went ahead with the plan.

Earlier, 23 family members of the death row convict, who was instrumental against the birth of Bangladesh during the 1971 War of Independence, met him for the last time.

Contacted by the jail authorities in the afternoon, they drove there in two microbuses.

“We let them in at 7:50pm for half an hour,” Ali said.

It was Mollah’s sentence — life-term imprisonment — on February 5 which triggered a youth upsurge in the capital, known popularly as Shahbagh Movement, that later spread across the country.

The ICT-2 awarded Mollah life imprisonment on two out of six charges and different jail terms on the other three proved charges.

For weeks, Shahbagh youths continued their movement to press home the demand of execution of war criminals, forcing the government to bring an amendment to the International Crimes Tribunal law, which is the basis for the special tribunal trying the accused of war crimes committed 42 years ago.

The state on March 3 appealed with the SC against the life-term ruling, terming it “inadequate” and seeking the death penalty for his wartime offences.

On September 17, a five-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain revised the verdict, sentencing Mollah to death.

After the full text of the verdict was released, ICT-2 issued death warrant for the Jamaat leader on December 8.

Tuesday afternoon, the jail authorities contacted Mollah’s family and asked them to meet with him by 8:00pm.

“We are in tension. We feel that it is not a good sign,” Advocate Tajul Islam, the convict’s counsel, said contacted by the jail authorities.

As the news spread through televisions and online newspapers, large number of curious people gathered in front of Dhaka Central Jail, most of them to celebrate at the punishment of the infamous Jamaat leader.

Family asked to meet Mollah by 8pm

War crimes convict Abdul Quader Mollah’s son Hasan Jamil speaks at a press briefing at Supreme Court Bar Association in the capital yesterday. The jail authorities have asked the family of condemned Jamaat leader to meet him at the Dhaka Central Jail by 8:00pm today. Photo: Focus Bangla


Though Mollah did not seek president’s clemency, his lawyers rushed to Chamber Judge Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain house at Kakrail to move a petition seeking stay on the process of Mollah’s execution at 8:30pm.

Claiming that the government took preparation to execute Quader Mollah without finishing all legal procedures, Advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain, Barrister Abdur Razzaq and Advocate Tajul Islam also went to the residence of Attorney General Mahbubey Alam at 9:00 but the chief law officer of the country was not at his home then.

The delegation later rushed to the chamber judge’s house again at 9:20pm.

Confirming The Daily Star about the Chamber Judge’s order, advocate Khandker Mahbubey Alam said the jail authorities cannot execute Mollah till 10:30am tomorrow.

“In the meantime, we will move a review petition on behalf of Abdul Quader Mollah before the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, and which will then pass its order,” he said.

Earlier in the morning, Mollah instructed his lawyer to file a review petition with the Supreme Court challenging its verdict, Tajul said after meeting the Jamaat assistant secretary general at Dhaka Central Jail.

Tajul along with chief defence counsel Barrister Abdur Razzak and Advocate Tajul went to the jail at 10:10am and stayed there for 50 minutes.

“Mollah is mentally sound,” advocate Tajul said after the meeting.

  • Guest

    can someone explain to me why he was not allowed to appeal against the verdict, when his original verdict was over ruled via amendment of the law in itself

    • Guest

      You cannot appeal against supreme court appeal. Initial appeal can be done by both plaintiff and defendant, once supreme court gives verdict, it is final. You can then ask for leniency to the President.

  • shafiq

    I think this is not human rights. People are fully attention to discussion the crisis of election under UN. At the moment, the Govt. is hanging to Kader Mulla without give opportunity to apply review petition.

  • poy

    Finally !

  • rutland waters

    the governnent should impose a curfew to protect the citizens

  • truthprevails53

    Finally Mollah wont be able to show his victory sign. Finally the great monstrous goat will breathe its last.

  • truthprevails53

    Joy of joys. A great terrorist, scum, devil will breathe his last.

  • truthprevails53

    His fingers that symbolised the v sign should be dismembered and inserted inside his posterior as an exemplary symbol of justice.

  • SM

    Did he do Towba? Regardless, he will answer to his creator.

  • Shourobh

    After the hanging, we will get Shonar Bangla. The fact that they were not hanged till now was the main reason why Bangladesh had so many problems. We will finally get peace and prosperity

    • Anonymous

      eventhough i am happy with the verdict, hanging him will not solve 2013 problems of bangladesh. if u think so, you need immediate medical attention.

      in any case, they have ordered a stay in the verdict,

  • Dev Saha

    Agree! Simply executing another infamous butcher would not solve any of our problem but to create more problems in the future. There are too Mollahs, who are equally repugnant and bad in this country.

    • Sara

      A large part of the political violence today is caused by the influence of war criminals of forty years ago. Forty years ago, people might have thought that executing them would not solve the problems of the new country. As it turned out, they created new problems and aggravated old ones.

  • Wavelength

    I don’t think we should express “joy”. Let’s express our satisfaction that justice is being delivered here. Now is the time to focus on those who died and their sufferings. If we focus on Qader Molla, we are taking out attention away from our martyrs.
    I, for one, am in favour of quiet reflection on those brave souls who gave us our country by virtue of their sacrifice. Forty two years later, we are only carrying out a justice that they deserved and is their right. This carrying out of justice is a very small, minute actually, thing to do on our part.

  • Sara

    Practical reasoning, but note that while you argue for Mollah’s constitutional rights (i.e. adhering to the system), you are indirectly asking to flout the laws of the justice system, which specifies a period within which to carry out an execution order (one month, I think). Therefore, regardless of the political implications or Ganojagoron Mancha demands, the system should work as was designed.

    Note: If you are referring to justification of Mollah’s right to appeal, then the above does not apply.

  • Sara

    No, the problem is not confined to these individuals. But they were and are the instigators. And often, the best solution is to remove the root of the problem. Of course, there might be many more roots that need to be weeded out, including ones generated after the war. If the justice (and Shariah) principle of deterring by exemplary sentencing carries any weight, this execution would help to deter others in the future.

    The euphoria will probably die down as people get on with their lives. Similarly, the outrage caused within sections of the society will also die down just as soon. In the long-term, it will be a forward step altogether.

    Note: The trial procedure might have been quick, but still forty years late. The euphoria is substantially based on the implementation of the verdict by due process even after multiple decades.