Published: Sunday, December 15, 2013

Appeals in Sayedee's Case

SC proceedings may end next month

saydeeThe Supreme Court proceedings in the war crimes case against Delawar Hossain Sayedee are likely to end next month.
The court has already heard his appeal for 18 days. The convicted Jamaat-e-Islami leader filed the appeal challenging his death sentence given by International Crimes Tribunal-2.
The hearing may take another 18 to 20 days, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told The Daily Star on Friday. “I hope the trial proceedings against Delawar Hossain Sayedee will end in January.”
The SC had earlier taken 39 days to hear the appeals in the war crimes case against Abdul Quader Mollah. He was executed on Thursday.
MK Rahman, additional attorney general and chief coordinator of the prosecution, said the SC could not continue hearing the appeals in the Sayedee case due to hartals and blockades.
The defence lawyers did not attend the court on those days, he said, adding that the court could have finished hearing the appeals by now had it not been for their absence.
Rahman commented that the defence lawyers are trying to delay the proceedings in the war crimes cases.
They did not submit on time concise statements that contain the case summary and particular arguments. The state counsels have submitted concise statements on all the appeals, he said.
November 25 was the last time the court heard the appeal. It could not make further progress due to the hartals and blockades that have been enforced by the opposition parties since then.
The apex court went on annual vacation from December 13, and it will reopen on January 2.
Contacted, Abdur Razzaq, chief of defence counsels, said Sayedee’s case is now on the hearing list of the Appellate Division, and its hearing will resume when the court reopens.
He, however, said he has no idea how long it will take to conclude the hearing.
Appeals in the war crimes cases against five other people are now pending with the Appellate Division.
They are former Jamaat ameer Ghulam Azam, Jamaat leaders Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed and Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and its former leader Abdul Alim.
Mojaheed, Salauddin and Kamaruzzaman were sentenced to death; Alim was sentenced to life and Azam to 90 years in prison for wartime offences.
The apex court is yet to fix any date for hearing their appeals.
Fugitive war criminals Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan were given death penalty on November 3.
Al-Badr operation-in-charge Mueen is now in London, where he has made his name as a community leader. He served as the chairman of Tottenham Mosque and as the director of Muslim Spiritual Care Provision in the National Health Service of the UK.
Ashraf, chief executor of Al-Badr, is now in New York and has been involved with the conservative Islami Circle of North America, according to the prosecution.
Abul Kalam Azad, another convicted war criminal popularly known as Bachchu Razakar, is also on the run. He was sentenced to death on January 21.
Rahman said the government is trying to bring the fugitive war criminals back to the country in order to execute them.