DHAKA: The Supreme Court has begun hearing of appeal filed challenging the death penalty of convicted war criminal and former Jamaat-e-Islami leader ATM Azharul Islam.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain conducted the hearing on Tuesday (June 18) morning.
Advocate on record Joynul Abedin moved for ATM Azhar while attorney general Mahbubey Alam was the prosecutor.
The prosecution and defence already have submitted the synopses of appeal to the Appellate Division.
On January 1, 2015 ATM Azhar appealed to the Supreme Court challenging the death penalty awarded by International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) for his crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971.
His lawyers submitted a 90-page main appeal along with 2,250-page appeal to the SC’s Appellate Division on the day.
On December 30, 2014, the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)-1 awarded death penalty to 61-year-old Azharul, an Al-Badr commander of Rangpur.
The tribunal found Azharul, former president of the Rangpur district unit Islami Chhatra Sangha, the then student wing of the Jamaat, guilty in five out of six charges, including genocide, killing, rape, abduction, forced confinement, torture, and looting, committed during the Liberation War.
Azharul was sentenced to death for three charges and a total of 30 years imprisonment for two others.
The tribunal also found him guilty of holding superior responsibility as he was the leader of Al-Badr.
According the verdict, Azharul was president of Islami Chhatra Sangha, Rangpur district unit, and al-Badr commander of the district when studying class XI student at Carmichael College there. He maintained a good relation with the Pakistani army.
BDST: 1205 HRS, JUNE 18, 2019