The prosecution yesterday asked for the death penalty against Jamaat-e-Islami Nayeb-e-Ameer Delawar Hossain Sayedee in connection with crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War.
The prosecution asked for the penalty before finishing off its closing arguments at the International Crimes Tribunal-1.
Sayedee was indicted with 20 charges of crimes against humanity on October 3, 2011, but yesterday prosecutor Syed Haidar Ali prayed before the tribunal to drop charge-20 as they could not provide any evidence on it.
“Among the 20 charges, I believe I have been successful in proving 19 charges. Therefore, I pray for the highest punishment,” said Haidar Ali.
Following the failure of the defence to produce witnesses, the tribunal on October 23 closed recording testimonies of defence witnesses and fixed November 5 for the prosecution's closing argument, which ended yesterday.
The court yesterday also fixed November 18 for the defence to place its closing arguments.
After the closing arguments are done with, the tribunal would deliver a verdict.
According to the charge-20, which the prosecution could not provide evidence for, Sayedee got information at the end of November, 1971, that thousands of people were fleeing to India to save their lives.
A group of 10-12 razakars under Sayedee's leadership then attacked the houses of Talukdar Bari at Indurkani village and detained a total of 85 people and looted valuables from there.
Of the 85, all but 10-12 people were released in exchange for money negotiated by Fazlul Huq, an alleged razakar. Male detainees were tortured and females were raped by Pakistan soldiers at a camp, the charges said.
At one stage of the closing argument, the prosecutor told the tribunal that 195 Pakistan army officials, who according to the prosecution were identified war criminals of the Liberation War, could be tried under the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973.
The tribunal agreed.