Verdict on Mujib killers' death sentence Sunday
September 21, 2007
Source: Indian Muslims
Dhaka : Bangladesh's Supreme Court will Sunday decide whether it will allow an appeal against the verdict of a high court, which upheld the death sentences to 12 former army personnel in the murder of the country's founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The country's longest trial has come to this stage after an appellate division bench of Justice Tafazzul Islam, Justice Joynul Abedin and Justice M. Hasan Ameen concluded the hearing in the petitions filed by five of the convicts, who are in jail and have sought permission to appeal against the High Court verdict.
If the court rejects the petitions Sunday, Mujib's assassination case will be finally disposed off and the five prisoners will have to face the gallows within two months.
The other convicts, who are absconding, will be executed after their arrest, New Age said Friday.
In case the court allows the condemned prisoners to appeal against their sentences, the appellate division will need to further hear the case. It started hearing the case July 7 after a six-year freeze.
The case had been shelved since Aug 16, 2001, because of a shortage of judges in the division capable of hearing the case. Some judges had felt "embarrassed" and had opted out.
Muhitul Islam, Mujib's personal assistant, filed a murder case with the Dhanmondi police Oct 2, 1996, 21 years after Mujib and his family members were assassinated by a group of army men on Aug 15, 1975.
Dhaka District and Sessions Judge Quazi Golam Rasul awarded death sentences to 15 of the 20 accused on Nov 8, 1998.
The High Court delivered a split verdict in the case Dec 14, 2000. Justice M. Ruhul Amin, senior judge of the High Court bench, upheld the death sentences of 10 convicts, while the other judge, A.B.M. Khairul Haque, retained the death sentences for all the 15.
On April 30, 2001, Justice M. Fazlul Karim, in the final High Court verdict in the case, upheld death sentences for 12 and acquitted three.
Syed Faruque Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Muhiuddin Ahmed and Bazlul Huda, who were in jail at the time, filed petitions with the appellate division, seeking permission to appeal against the verdict.
A.K.M. Mohiuddin Ahmed filed a similar petition after the US government sent him back to Bangladesh from Los Angeles June 17.