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2 get death sentences, 3 imprisonment till death for war crimes

DHAKA, Jan 10, 2018 (BSS) - The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)-1 today sentenced two men from Moulvibazar to death and three to imprisonment till natural death for their crimes against humanity in 1971.

The five convicts are Shamsul Hossain Tarafder alias Ashraf, 67, Md Nesar Ali, 77, Yunus Ahmed, 73, Md. Ujer Ahmed Chowdhury, 65, and Mobarak Miah, 68. Of the five, only Yunus and Ujer are in jail and were produced before the court today.

Of the five, Nesar Ali and Ujer Ahmed Chowdhury were sentenced to death.

Prosecution in their reaction expressed satisfaction over the judgement. The defence however, refrained from making any comment after the verdict.

"We are happy. We will take decision on whether to file appeal after reviewing the judgement once the full text is released," said prosecutor Sultan Mahmud Simon.

The ICT-1 passed the order as the five charges framed against the accused were proved beyond any reasonable doubt.

The tribunal started reading out the summary of the 202-page verdict on 10.50 am. Judge Md Abu Ahmed Jamadar read out the first part of the verdict, followed by Justice Amir Hossain. Tribunal chief Justice Md Shahinur Islam read out the sentencing portion at around 11.45 am.

Yunus and Ujer were brought at the tribunal from Kashimpur High Security Jail at around 10 am.

Yesterday the ICT-1 set today to pass its judgement in the case. The ICT-1 on November 20, 2017, kept the verdict on CAV (curia advisory vault, a Latin legal term meaning the court awaits verdict), meaning the court can pass judgement on any day.

The investigation agency of the tribunal launched its probe against the five on October 12, 2014, and the prosecution on May 26, 2016, submitted its formal charge in the case before the court.

The tribunal on June 9, 2016, took five charges pressed by the prosecution, into cognizance. Hearing on charge framing was held on November 2, of the same year.

On December 8, 2016, the tribunal indicted the five in the crimes against humanity case and recording deposition against the accused started on January 15, 2017.

According to the prosecution the accused ran havoc in the locality during the War of Liberation as the leaders of local Razakar Bahini and Al-Badr.

An active worker of Islami Chhatra Sangha, then student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, Shamsul joined local wing of Al-Badr when the war broke out and subsequently became its local commander.

Nesar on the other hand, was an active worker of pro-Pakistan Muslim League and acted as the commander of local unit of Razakar Bahini in 1971. The rest were vicious cadres of Razakar Bahini.

Ujer Ahmed was arrested from Moulvibazar town and Yunus was arrested from his village home in Sonataki on October 13, 2016, as the tribunal issued arrest warrant against them.