The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) on Thursday sentenced three people to jail unto death and five others to 20-year imprisonment for committing crimes against humanity during the War of Liberation in 1971.
A three-member tribunal, led by its Chairman Justice Md Shahinur Islam, handed down the verdict, acquitting another accused Md Abdul Latif of the charges.The three convicts who were jailed unto death are Md Shamsuzzaman alias Abul Kalam, AFM Faizullah and Abdur Razzak Mandal. Of them, Faizullah and Razzak were tried in absentia.
Those who got 20 years’ jail are Khalilur Rahman, Mohammad Abdullah, Md Rois Uddin Azadi alias Akkel Ali, Alim Uddin Khan and Sirajul Islam Tota. Of them, Alim Uddin was on the run.
The tribunal acquitted Latif as the allegations brought against him could not be proved in the case. He is the first accused who was acquitted of the charges in the history of the ICT.
All the accused are from different villages of Gafargaon upazila in Mymensingh district. They became members of infamous Razakar Bahini and collaborated with the Pakistani occupation forces during the war, the prosecution said.
With the latest one, the ICT delivered verdicts against 124 accused in 42 cases filed over crimes against humanity committed during the war. Only Abdul Latif was acquitted while the rest were convicted in the cases.
“Abdul Latif is the first accused who got the acquittal for the first time in the history of the International Crimes Tribunal,” said prosecutor Shahidur Rahman.He also informed that a decision will be taken regarding Abdul Latif’s acquittal after reviewing the full verdict in the case.
On February 9, the tribunal set Thursday for delivering the judgment in the case.
After concluding the hearing of the closing arguments placed by both the prosecution and defence lawyers on January 26 last year, the tribunal kept the case on CAV.
But the tribunal could not deliver any verdict in any case filed over crimes against humanity in the last one year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On March 4, 2018, the tribunal framed charges against 11 people on charges of murder of four people, detention of nine people, robbery, arson, kidnapping, torture and extortion in Mymensingh in 1971.
But two out of the 11 accused -- Mohammad Abdul Malek Akand alias Abul Member and Nurul Amin Shahjahan -- died during the trial proceedings and so the number of accused stood at nine in the case.
A total of 18 prosecution witnesses testified before the tribunal in the case.
According to the prosecution, there were allegations of killing four people, detention of nine people, robbery, arson, kidnapping, torture and extortion against the accused in Sadhua village of Niguari union under Pagla Police Station and Rouha village of Tangab union of Gafargaon upazila in Mymensingh.
The investigation against the accused started on October 16, 2014 while the investigators submitted a report against them on February 20, 2017.
Sultan Mahmud Siman, Zahid Imam and Rezia Sultana Chaman represented the state while Abdus Shukur Khan and Abdus Sattar Palowan stood for the accused.