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Bangladesh JI Leader Loses Final Appeal Against Hanging

Posted by on Monday, April 6, 2015, 12:27
This news item was posted in World News category and has 0 Comments so far .

Bangladesh’s highest court Monday rejected a final appeal by Jamaat-e-Islami leader to overturn his death sentence in a case of 1971 war, clearing the last legal hurdle to his execution.

JI leader Mohammad Kamaruzzaman

JI leader Mohammad Kamaruzzaman

The review petition is “dismissed”, Chief Justice S.K. Sinha ruled at the Supreme Court, upholding original death sentence of JI leader Mohammad Kamaruzzaman.

The JI leader was sentenced to hang in May 2013 by a domestic war crimes court.

An appeal court in November last year upheld the verdict, raising the prospect of his becoming the second Islamist to be hanged for war crimes. Another Jamaat leader, Abdul Quader Molla, was executed in December 2013.

But lawyers for Kamaruzzaman, who is the third most senior member of the Jamaat, made a last legal appeal arguing that there were “serious discrepancies” in the testimonies of prosecution witnesses at his trial.

Secular activists who attended the brief court session were delighted.

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told AFP that prison authorities would now ask Kamaruzzaman whether he would seek clemency from the president.

“If he refuses, he could be hanged any moment,” he said.

Molla was executed just hours after his review petition was rejected by the Supreme Court.

The upholding of Kamaruzzaman’s execution order could worsen the ongoing unrest in the country, which has been hit by deadly protests over the opposition’s bid to topple the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Bangladesh suffered its deadliest chapter of political violence in 2013 after the war crimes court handed down a series of death sentences to Jamaat leaders for their role in the 1971 conflict.

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