Kamaruzzaman’s execution unlikely before full SC verdict: AG

M Moneruzzaman

Attorney general Mahbubey Alam on Sunday said execution of war crimes convict Muhammad Kamaruzzaman might be delayed as the government was waiting for the Appellate Division’s full verdicts on the confirmation of his death sentence as well as the rejection of Abdul Quader Mollah’s review petition against his death sentence.
Talking to a group of reporters at his office, Mahbubey said the jail authorities would need to receive a death warrant to be issued by the war crimes tribunal for Kamaruzzaman’s execution.
The International Crimes Tribunal 2, which has sentenced Kamaruzzaman to death, could not issue the death warrant for his execution unless it received the Appellate Division’s full verdict that upheld his death sentence, the attorney general said.
Asked whether Kamaruzzaman could file a petition for review of his death sentence, Mahbubey referred to Quader Mollah’s case and argued that war crimes convicts could not take recourse to the constitutional provision for review of the Appellate Division verdicts in appeal against convictions in war crime cases.
The dispute over maintainability of review petitions against war crimes appeals will only come to an end when the Appellate Division releases its full verdict on Mollah’s review petition dismissed on December 12, 2013, said the attorney general.
About the jail code’s rule regarding a condemned convict’s right to apply for presidential mercy, Mahbubey said the question of the right would arise when the court proceedings would be complete.
So, the government will now have to wait to get copies of the Appellate Division’s full verdicts on both Kamaruzzaman’s death sentence and Mollah’s review petition, he said.
A high official of the Supreme Court registrar’s office said judges concerned of the Appellate Division which had upheld Kamaruzzaman’s death sentence on November 3 were yet to start writing the full verdict in Kamaruzzaman’s appeal.
The verdict on Mollah’s review petition has been drafted but it is yet to be finalised, said the officer.
In the case of Mollah’s execution, the International Crimes Tribunal 2 issued warrant for his execution on December 8, 2013 after it received the Appellate Division’s verdict that had increased his sentence to death from life-term and he was executed after his application for a review of the death sentence was rejected on December 12.
The five-member Appellate Division bench, which by a majority decision on September 17, 2013 increased Mollah’s sentence to death from life-term, released a 790-page full verdict on December 5, 2013.

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