SC rejects Mir Quasem’s review plea upholding death penalty

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Dhaka, August 30: The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday rejected the review of the death penalty of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mir Quasem Ali for his crimes against humanity during the War of Independence in 1971.

A five-member Appellate Division bench led by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha delivered the verdict on Tuesday morning.

There is now no legal bar to execute his death sentence served by the International Crimes Tribunal on Nov 2, 2014.

In line with the rules, the pro-Pakistan Al-Badr militia commander of 1971 can only seek president’s mercy by repenting for his crimes. The government will execute the sentence if he does not seek clemency or the president rejects his petition.

Mir Quasem was accused for abduction, torture and killing of teenage freedom fighter Jasim Uddin during Bangladesh’s nine-month War of Independence from Pakistan.

“Dismissed,” the chief justice said after taking seat at 9:00 am.

The four other members of the bench are Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Mohammad Bazlur Rahman.

An official of the Supreme Court Registrar’s Office said a certified copy of the full review verdict will be sent shortly to the Dhaka Central Jail through the International Crimes Tribunal.

Khandaker Mahbub Hossain, the lawyer for Mir Quasem, said the Jamaat leader and his family would make the decision on whether to seek president’s mercy.

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam cherished the end results of the long process.

The process of execution followed in previous war crimes cases would be maintained this time as well, he said.

Mir Quasem is the sixth war criminal to see the verdict at its execution level. He is the fifth top Jamaat leader whose death sentence for war crimes has been upheld in the final verdict.