DHAKA: The Supreme Court on Tuesday (Jan 14) upheld the death sentence of Syed Mohammad Qaisar, a former Jatiya Party state minister, for his crimes against humanity during the country’s Liberation War in 1971.
The Supreme Court delivered the verdict in response to an appeal filed by the convicted war criminal challenging the death penalty delivered by a war crimes tribunal on December 23, 2014.
Earlier on December 3, 2019, a four-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, fixed the date as both prosecution and defence concluded their arguments in the case.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam moved for upholding Qaiser’s death sentence, while defence counsel SM Shahjahan stood for his acquittal.
It is the ninth crimes against humanity case, which has been disposed of at the apex court.
On December 23, 2014, the International Crimes Tribunal-2 awarded death penalty to Syed Mohammad Qaisar, a former Jatiya Party state minister, for committing crimes against humanity and other offences during the 1971 Liberation War.
Tribunal, however, found the founder of Qaisar Bahini guilty in 14 charges out of 16 charges including of genocide, rape, killing, attack, arson and lootings committed during the Liberation War.
After the independence, he fled to London and returned home in 1975. In 1979, he contested the national polls as an independent candidate and was elected as a lawmaker, followed by joining the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) then.
During HM Ershad’s regime, Qaisar joined Jatiya Party and became a state minister for agriculture.
On May 16, 2014, police arrested Qaisar from a city’s private hospital a day after the tribunal had issued an arrest warrant against him.
BDST: 1140 HRS, DEC 23, 2014