The Supreme Court will hear the appeals of convicted war criminals Jammat-e-Islami Secretary General ATM Azharul Islamn and former state minister Syed Mohammed Kaiser on Oct 10.
The date for the hearings was set by a three-member appellate bench led by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha on Sunday.
The state was represented by Attorney General Mahbubey Alam. Zainul Abedin represented Azhar, while SM Shahjahan was Kaiser’s advocate-on-record.
The attorney general petitioned for the cases to be heard separately, but the chief justice said, “You have taken a long time. Submit the written arguments and the appeal will be heard.”
The prosecution and the defence must submit the summaries of their arguments by Aug 24. The hearings will begin on Oct 10 and are to continue uninterrupted.
On Mar 8, 2015 the Appellate Division ruled on the appeal of war criminal Mir Quasem Ali.
The Appellate Division also dismissed the review petition filed by Jamaat leader and war criminal Delwar Hossain Sayedee on May 15.
Thus far the top court has ruled on seven appeals over war crimes cases.
On Dec 30, 2014 ATM Azharul Islam was sentenced to death for murders, rapes and genocide during the Liberation War in 1971 by the International Crimes Tribunal – 1.
Azhar, along with Jamaat and Chhatra Sangha activists and the Pakistan Army, attacked villages around Jharhuar Beel on Apr 17, 1971.
They torched and looted houses and killed over 1,200 Hindus. Another 200 Hindus were detained and later killed at an undisclosed location. The incident is said to be the single biggest act of genocide in the war.
Former Jatiya Party state minister Syed Mohammed Kaiser was sentenced to death on Dec 23, 2014, for war crimes during the 1971 Liberation War.
Kaiser, a Muslim League leader in 1971, was convicted of murder, arson, loot, rape and genocide.
Kaiser was a well-known Razakhar in Habiganj and raised a local militia during the Liberation War, guiding Pakistani troops to villages to attack and abuse Hindus and supporters of Bangladesh’s Freedom Fighters.
Kaiser went into hiding after independence and resurfaced as a figure in Bangladesh politics in 1978.
He contested as an independent candidate and won the 1979 parliamentary polls from the Sylhet-17 constituency.
Kaiser joined the BNP and eventually became the president of its Habiganj unit.
He later joined HM Ershad's Jatiya Party and won from the Habiganj-4 constituency in 1988, becoming the Minister for State for Agriculture under the military dictator’s regime.
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