The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Tuesday sentenced lifer Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah to death for his crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971.
Allowing the government’s appeal seeking death sentence for Mollah, the five-member Appellate Division bench, headed by Chief Justice M Muzammel Hossain, pronounced the final judgment at 9:35 am saying the convict be hanged till death.
The four other members of the bench were Justices SK Sinha, M Abdul Wahhab Miah, Syed Mahmud Hossain and AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury.
The apex court also dismissed Mollah’s appeal seeking acquittal of all the convictions awarded against him by the International Crimes Tribunal-2.
The matter came up in the day’s cause list as item No. 1 of the court for the announcement of verdict.
The Supreme Court for the first time delivered a war crimes verdict in majority view amid tight security.
On July 23, after exhausting 39 working days, the apex court wrapped up the hearings on both the appeals and kept waiting for the verdict to be delivered any day.
On February 5, convicting detained Jamaat-e-Islami assistant secretary general Abdul Quader Mollah on five counts of crimes against humanity during the Liberation War, the International Crimes Tribunnal-2 unanimously sentenced him to life term imprisonment.
Later, Quader Mollah through his counsel filed an appeal against the ICT judgment seeking acquittal on all charges, while the government submitted an appeal seeking death penalty for Mollah for each of the six charges brought against him.
The 65-year-old Jamaat leader was found guilty of the crimes against humanity, including murders of pro-liberation civilian Pallab, an inhabitant of Nawabpur in old Dhaka city, poet Meherrunnesa and her family, journalist Khandker Abu Taleb of the daily Ittefaq, and mass killings at Alubdi, and killing of Hazrat Ali, then Awami League leader, along with his wife, two minor daughters and an infant son, followed by rape.
Five charges of crimes against humanity out of six allegations against Quader Mollah were proved beyond any reasonable doubt.
The ICT, however, acquitted him of Ghatar Char and Bhawal Khan Bari killings as the prosecution failed to prove the charge made against him beyond any reasonable doubt.
Upholding the ICT’s four other separate life term sentences, the SC judgment converted the ICT life term sentence into death penalty on charge of killing of Hazrat Ali, then Awami League leader in Mirpur in the capital, along with his wife, two minor daughters and an infant son, followed by rape.
The apex court in its judgment set aside the ICT acquittal order on the charge of Ghatar Char and Bhawal Khan Bari killings and sentenced Mollah to life term imprisonment.
Of all the penalties, the death penalty stands in force, according to the SC order.
Hang Quader Mollah, SC orders