Bangladesh’s war crimes tribunal can now start the process of issuing a death warrant for war criminal Mohammad Kamaruzzaman as the Appellate Division has published a copy of the full verdict.
But the whole process may hit the wall for a while if the defence files a review petition.
Both prosecutors and the law minister have confirmed that the decision that will come following the verdict review petition hearing will be executed swiftly.
The International Crimes Tribunal-2 sentenced to death Jamaat-e-Islami Assistant Secretary General Kamaruzzaman on May 9, 2013.
The Appellate Division upheld the verdict on Nov 3 that year.
The issue of reviewing the verdicts on the 1971 war criminals ran into much debate after the judgment on the first appeal against Jamaat Assistant Secretary General Abdul Quader Molla’s life imprisonment verdict.
The issue was later resolved following an Appellate Division ruling.
Kamaruzzaman, however, after getting an certified copy of the full verdict will be able to file the review petition within 15 days from its publication on Wednesday.
Law Minsiter Anisul Huq told reporters after publication of the full verdict that the 15 days deadline has begun right after the Appellate Division justices signed the verdict.
“The day count will stop after one of the parties applies for a certified copy for reviewing the verdict. The count will begin from the start again after the certified copy is ready.”
The minister said he hopes the certified copy of the full verdict would ready by Sunday.
The Supreme Court, in the first full war crimes verdict, had raised Abdul Quader Molla’s punishment from life imprisonment to death sentence.
Among all war crimes convicts, so far, only Molla’s death sentence has been carried out.
The Jamaat leader, before he executed on Dec 12 last year, had also pleaded for review of the verdict.
Jamaat’s Nayeb-e-Ameer Delwar Hossain Sayedee’s punishment was lessened from death sentence to life imprisonment.
However, after getting the Appellate Division’s orders for the capital punishment, the tribunal generally sends the death warrant to the jail.
The accused will be able to seek amnesty from the president. He will also be allowed to meet his family.
But Molla had not sought presidential pardon, the government had then said.
Kamaruzzaman will be the second convict to see the full verdict on charges of war crimes against him.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam Wednesday said Kamaruzzaman’s full verdict would be sent to the International Crimes Tribunal for the issuance of the death warrant.
“The tribunal will send that to jail. The tribunal may do that today or tomorrow. The government will not face any problem to fix the date to execute the verdict after it reaches the prison authorities.”
But the review petition, if the defence files one in 15 days, will postpone this process, Alam said.