Nizami gets death penalty

New Age Online
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War crimes convict Motiur Rahman Nizami being taken to International Crimes Tribunal-1 on Wednesday amid tight security. – New Age phtoto

International Crimes Tribunal -1 on Wednesday awarded death penalty to Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami for crimes against humanity that he had committed during the country’s independence war in 1971.
Eight out of the 16 charges brought against Nizami, 71, who was also the chief of Al-Badr Bahini, were proved beyond doubt.
The tribunal, headed by Justice M Enayetur Rahim, started reading out the summary of 204-page war crimes verdict in presence of Nizami around 11:10am.
It was the 10th verdict in war crimes cases in independent Bangladesh.
The verdict was delivered after a gap of over seven months since March 24 when the ICT-1 completed hearing both the sides and kept it waiting for pronouncement later.
The prosecution team expressed their satisfaction over the verdict while the defence team rejected the judgment and said that they would appeal against the judgement.
In an immediate reaction, prosecutor Mohammad Ali said that the judgment reflected the expectation of the nation.
‘It was a long awaited verdict and that the tribunal has clearly said the case was not politically motivated,’ he said.
Nizami’s lawyer M Tajul Islam said they were unhappy as ‘Nizami was 100 per cent innocent.’
‘The judgment is emotional and inappropriate,’ Tajul said adding that his client faced the verdict because he was the chief of Jamaat.
The charges include superior responsibility in the war crimes, elimination of Bangali intellectuals at the fag end of the Lieberation War, complicity in genocide, multiple murders, rapes, torture of unarmed people, hatching conspiracies, planning and inciting war crimes.
On May 28, 2012, Nizami was indicted.
MAA_3183 In 1971, Nizami was the president of Islami Chhatra Sangha, as the student wing of Jamaat was called then.
Nizami was also the chief of Al-Badr Bahini, an auxiliary force of Pakistani occupation army, according to the prosecution.
He was born at Mohammadpur, Santhia, Pabna in 1943.
On June 29, 2010, Nizami was arrested near the National Press Club.
On July 22, 2010 he was shown arrested on war crimes charges.
During the trial, 26 prosecution witnesses gave evidence against Nizami.
Four defence witnesses testified to prove his innocence.
Until now, 10 accused, six of them Jamaat leaders, have been convicted on war crimes charges.
On December 12, the death sentence of lone Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Molla was executed.
The Appellate Division reduced the death sentence of Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee to imprisonment until death.
Jamaat leader AKM Yusuf died during his trial.
War crimes convicts – Ghulam Azam and Abdul Alim died while serving different jail terms.
Verdicts in five other war crimes cases are pending, three with the ICT-1 and two with the ICT-2.
Earlier, a Chittagong court had sentenced Nizami to death in the 10-truck arms haul case.
(Updated)

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