Dhaka, Mar 8: The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday delivered its verdict upholding the death penalty of Jamaat-e-Islami central executive council member and Diganta Media Vision chairman Mir Quasem Ali for his crimes against humanity during the War of Liberation in 1971.
The five-member full bench of the Appellate Division led by Chief Justice SK Sinha passed the order.
The four other judges of the bench were Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Mohammad Bazlur Rahman.
The apex court has upheld the punishment on eight counts, acquitted him on one, and changed the penalty in another.
His death sentence was upheld for the charge no 11 in the verdict.
Earlier, an observation by the chief justice during the hearing had cast doubts in the minds of many, including two ministers, about which way the verdict would go.
According to the charge, he was engaged in abduction of six people including Shaheed Jashim Uddin and torturing them. Later, five of them including Jasim was murdered and their body were carried off.
Early last year, the International Crimes Tribunal had sentenced him to death for the killing of young freedom fighter Jashim Uddin Ahmed and eight others and to 72 years in prison for acts of abduction and torture.
He was the Al Badr’s third most important functionary after Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami and Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid.
The verdict cited the crimes against humanity Quasem committed as the Chittagong area commander of the Al-Badr, a militia formed with members of the Chhatra Sangha to help the Pakistan Army during the war.
This was the seventh appeal verdict served by the SC. Earlier in six appeal verdicts, four of the death penalty receivers were hanged. Appellate Division has published one full verdict and one summary.
Mir Quasem had challenged the verdict.
Freedom fighters, followers of the Ganajagaran Mancha in Dhaka’s Shahbagh and ordinary people in Chittagong and other parts of the country rejoiced over the apex court’s decision. Celebratory marches were held in some places.