The Supreme Court today cleared the way for executing death row war criminal Abdul Quader Mollah, rejecting the Jamaat-e-Islami leader’s petition to review his death sentence.
Attorney General Mahbubbey Alam has said there is no legal bar now for executing Mollah, who was instrumental to block the country’s birth in 1971.
After disregarding twice offers to seek presidential clemency, the Jamaat assistant secretary general, known as ‘Koshai Quader’ for his brutal style of torture during the Liberation War, turned down the offer again this afternoon.
“We are aggrieved with the order. Quader Mollah didn’t get justice,” the convict’s counsel Khandker Mahbub Hossain said reacting to the order.
A five-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain, dismissed Mollah’s petition on completion of hearing the petition submitted just a few hours ahead of the Jamaat leader’s scheduled execution Tuesday night.
Unhappy over the ruling, the pro-Jamaat lawyers demonstrated angry protest on the SC premises. Pro-government lawyers, meantime, brought out procession on the SC premises chanting slogans against their rival lawyers.
Hailing the ruling, different student organisation brought out processions in the capital.
Hundreds of people, especially youths, rushed to Gonojagoron Manch at Shahbagh to celebrate the court sentencing
“It’s another victory for the nation in this month of victory,” said Imran H Sarker, the convenor of the youth platform that came into being on February 5, the day when the International Crimes Tribunal passed a life-term sentence on Mollah.
When the court sat around 9:30am, it first heard arguments whether the petition could be accepted.
As the court asked chief defence counsel Abdur Razzak to start hearing on merit of the review petition, the latter asked it whether it had accepted the petition.
The court said it was yet to take any decision on the maintainability of the petition.
Then, the defence counsel started placing arguments on merit of the petition.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam was present in the court.
Three hours before Mollah was scheduled to be hanged Tuesday night, his counsels moved to Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, chamber judge of the Supreme Court to stay the petition.
Responding, the chamber judge stayed the execution process till 10:30am the next day. The regular court, sitting Wednesday, it
If the apex court fails to come up with a decision today, the execution of the condemned Jamaat-e-Islami leader may be stayed for several weeks with the court going on a 19-day vacation from tomorrow.
Mollah filed a petition with the chamber judge Tuesday night, seeking a review of the SC verdict that awarded him death penalty for committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
The court will reopen on January 2 next year.
The apex court on September 17 sentenced Mollah to death, overruling the judgment of the ICT-2 that had given him life term for committing crimes against humanity in 1971.