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SC likely to hear Azhar, Syed Qaiser's appeals tomorrow

DHAKA, Aug 12, 2017 (BSS) - The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC) has finally decided to hear appeals of convicted war criminals Jamaat leader ATM Azharul Islam and former Jatiya Party state minister Syed Mohammad Qaiser, as it kept the matters as second and third item on its cause list for tomorrow.

A three-member apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha is scheduled to hear the criminal appeals of Azhar and Qaiser.

The now defunct International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)-2 on December 23, 2014, sentenced Qaiser to death as the 14 charges out of the total sixteen framed against him were proven beyond any doubt.

The tribunal handed down the death penalty to him in seven charges, life imprisonment in four charges, jail term of 10, 7 and 5 years in three charges and was acquitted in the remaining two charges. But the jail term will naturally get merged in to the sentence of death.

The tribunal in its observation also asked the state to initiate a compensation scheme for the rape victims of 1971 and the war babies.

Qaiser filed appeal against his conviction on January 19, 2015.

Meanwhile, the ICT-1 on December 30, 2014, sentenced Jamaat-e-Islami assistant secretary general ATM Azharul Islam to death for his crimes against humanity committed in Rangpur during the War of Liberation. It found him guilty in five of total six charges.

The court said he should be hanged for Charge no -2, 3 and 4. In the charge No-2 he was accused of gunning down 15 unarmed innocent civilians in Dhap Para area in Rangpur on April 16. In Charge no- 3, he was accused of committing massacre at Jharuarbeel and killing of more than 1200 unarmed civilians on April 17. And in Charge number-3 he was accused of abduction and murder of four teachers of Carmichael College and others on April 30.

Besides, he was sentenced a total of 30 years of imprisonment in the remaining charge no-5 and 6 for raping women after confining them at Rangpur Town Hall between March 25 and December 16 and torturing of Shawkat Hossain and Rafiqul Hasan between mid November and December 1.

Azhar filed appeal against his conviction on January 28, 2015.