Dhaka, Mar 28: The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)-1 on Thursday sentenced five fugitive Razakars from Purbodhola, Netrokona, to death for their crimes against humanity committed in 1971.The five convicts are Sheikh Md. Abdul Majid alias Majid Mawlana, 66, Md Abdul Khalek Talukder, 67, Md Kabir Khan, 70, Abdus Salam Begh, 68, and Nuruddin, 70.
“…they be hanged by the neck till they are dead, under section 20(2) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973,” said Justice Md Shahinur Islam, chairman of the three-member panel of the ICT-1.
The first tribunal found the convicts guilty in all the seven charges that it framed against them.
“It appears that the convicted accused Sheikh Md. Abdul Majid and Md Abdul Khalek Talukder, in exercise of their significant de facto dominance over the locally formed Razakar Bahini and forming gang of their cohort Razakars carried out criminal acts directing civilian population with conscious knowledge about the consequences thereof,” the verdict said.
The tribunal in its 240-page verdict further said all the convicts have been absconding since initiation of the trial.
“They could not be arrested in execution of warrant issued by tribunal and they even did not opt to surrender in response to the notification published as required under law, to face the accusation. Presumably, they are on the run to evade responsibility of offences perpetrated by them and such conduct increases their culpability,” it added.
The tribunal said since the five convicts have been absconding, the ‘sentence of death’ as awarded above shall be executed after causing their arrest or when they surrender before the Tribunal, whichever is earlier.
“The convicts are at liberty to prefer appeal before the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh against their conviction and sentence within 30 days of the date of order of conviction,” the judgement said.
The ICT-1 on January 28 put the judgement on CAV, a Latin legal term meaning court awaits verdict, as the hearing in the case concluded on that day.
“There were two more accused in the case, but Ahammad Ali, 78, and Abdur Rahman, 70, died before charge framing and during arguments respectively,” prosecutor Mukhlesur Rahman Badal told newsmen.
The prosecution on May 22, 2016, submitted the formal charge in the case, pressing seven charges of crimes against humanity against them.
On April 19, 2017, the ICT-1 indicted the accused, framing seven charges against them.