The appeals of convicted war criminals Jamaat leader ATM Azharul Islam and former Jatiya Party state minister Syed Mohammad Qaiser, appear on Sunday’s cause list of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.
A three-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha may pass orders giving time to the parties of the appeals for submission of their concise statements before hearing begins, said sources at the apex court.
The two appeals of Azhar and Qaiser were kept as second and third items respectively in the cause list of the Supreme Court. Two other members of the bench are Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain and Justice Mirza Hussain Haider.
The now defunct International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)-2 on December 23, 2014, sentenced Qaiser to death as the 14 charges out of the total sixteen framed against him were proven beyond any doubt.
The tribunal handed down the death penalty to him in seven charges, life imprisonment in four charges, jail term of 10, 7 and 5 years in three charges and was acquitted in the remaining two charges. But the jail term will naturally get merged into the sentence of death.
The tribunal in its observation also asked the state to initiate a compensation scheme for the rape victims of 1971 and the ‘war babies’ – children of women raped by the Pakistan army or anti-liberation forces.
Qaiser filed appeal against his conviction on January 19, 2015.
Meanwhile, the ICT-1 on December 30, 2014, sentenced Jamaat-e-Islami assistant secretary general ATM Azharul Islam to death for his crimes against humanity committed in Rangpur during the War of Liberation. It found him guilty of five of total six charges.
The court said he should be hanged for three of the charges, numbers 2, 3 and 4. In the charge no. 2, he was accused of gunning down 15 unarmed innocent civilians in Dhap Para area in Rangpur on April 16.
In charge no. 3, he was accused of committing massacre at Jharuarbeel and killing of more than 1200 unarmed civilians on April 17. And in charge no. 4 he was accused of abduction and murder of four teachers of Carmichael College and others on April 30.
Besides, he was sentenced to a total of 30 years of imprisonment on the remaining charges numbers 5 and 6, for raping women after confining them at Rangpur Town Hall between March 25 and December 16 and torturing of Shawkat Hossain and Rafiqul Hasan between mid November and December 1. Azhar filed appeal against his conviction on January 28, 2015.