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Saturday, February 9, 2013
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Govt, defence ready to file appeals

Both the government and the defence are working to file appeals with the Supreme Court contesting the recent verdict against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah in the crimes against humanity case.

The government may file its appeal within this week, while the defence plans to make its move early next month, prosecution and defence sources said.

On February 5, the International Crimes Tribunal-2 sentenced Mollah to life imprisonment.

The two sides are now examining the relevant laws and constitutional provisions to file the appeals and secure the Supreme Court judgement in their favour.

Talking to The Daily Star, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said his office will move an appeal against the acquittal of Jamaat leader on the charge of murdering hundreds of people in Keraniganj during the 1971 Liberation War.

In the appeal, the prosecution will pray for conviction of Mollah and awarding him death sentence for Keraniganj killings, he added.

Sources in attorney general's office said the government will pray to the apex court for delivering “justice” in the crimes against humanity case against Mollah as per Article 104 of the republic's constitution.

Article 104 says, “The Appellate Division shall have the power to issue such directions, orders, decrees or writs as may be necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it, including orders for the purpose of securing the attendance of any person or the discovery or production of any document.”

Meanwhile, defence lawyer Tajul Islam said they will move the appeal with the Appellate Division seeking cancellation of the life term imprisonment of his client, and his (Mollah) acquittal of a charge in the case.

Under the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973, the defence has to appeal within 30 days with the Appellate Division against the conviction of any accused.

Legal experts are divided over the government's authority to file an appeal against the ICT-2 verdict.

Some of them said the government cannot file an appeal challenging the verdict against Mollah since the court has not acquitted him of all the charges mentioned in the case.

The others, however, stated that the government can move an appeal against the acquittal of Mollah in the murder charge as per Article 104 of the constitution.

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