The Supreme Court has published the full verdict of the war crimes case involving senior Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee.
In its verdict, the top court had commuted his sentence to prison until death. Sayedee was given the death penalty on two counts of crimes against humanity in 2013 by the war crimes tribunal. Known as ‘Deilya Razakar’ in 1971, Sayedee was found guilty of committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War. The Jamaat number two had appealed against the death sentence, seeking acquittal in the case. On Sep 17, 2014, the Appellate Division bench headed by the then Chief Justice Justice Md Muzammel Hossain delivered the verdict. The verdict was a majority judgment by the five-member bench. Justice Abdul Wahhab Miah wanted to acquit Sayedee of all charges but Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury supported the death penalty. Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain, Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha and Justice Hasan Foez Siddique backed the reduced sentence. The full verdict was posted on the Supreme Court website on Thursday after the judges signed it.
Sayedee’s trial began at the International Crimes Tribunal-1 on Oct 3, 2011 and verdict was pronounced on Feb 28, 2013. Of the 20 charges against him, Sayedee was given the death penalty for two – the murders of Ibrahim Kutti and Bisabali, and for setting fire to Hindu households in Pirojpur in 1971. The Supreme Court verdict sentenced Sayedee on five charges of the 20 that were framed against him.
The verdict reduced Sayedee’s death sentence for Ibrahim Kutti’s murder to imprisonment for 12 years. In its second appeal verdict in a war crimes case, the Supreme Court sentenced Sayedee to prison until death for three charges. These include the murder of Bisabali and arson in a Hindu neighbourhood, abduction and rape of three sisters of Gauranga Saha, who was a prosecution witness and identified Sayedee as the man who had handed over his sisters to the Pakistani army to be taken away as sex slaves. They were returned after three days.
Sayedee was also sentenced to prison until death on charges of forcible conversions of 100-150 Hindus. Six other charges were also proven beyond doubt but no sentencing followed as he had already been given the death penalty. After the top court’s verdict, the Jamaat leader’s family and counsel said that that they had expected an acquittal. “We will certainly file a review petition after we get the full verdict,” son Masood Sayedee had said. The State had also said at the time that it expected maximum punishment. The verdict, however, ‘unmasked Sayedee from being a religious leader’, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told the media then.
Speaking to reporters on Aug 23, the attorney general said that the prosecution was waiting for the full verdict as it intended to file a review of the sentence.
News Courtesy: Bdnews24.com