DHAKA The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court
(SC) today showed no mercy to Jamaat leader and 1971 Al-Badr commander ATM
Azharul Islam as it upheld the death sentence handed over to him by
International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)-1 for committing crimes against humanity.
A four-member apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud
Hossain passed the order at around 9.10 am, upholding tribunal's judgement on
majority for charge number two, three and four.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam, who is expected to brief the media later
in the day, has expressed satisfaction over the judgement, while defence
counsel Khandaker Mahbub Hossain said they would file another plea, seeking
review of today's judgement.
The Appellate Division on October 30 set today to pronounce the
Earlier on July 10, the apex court kept the judgement on CAV, curia
advisari vult (a Latin legal term meaning court awaits judgement), as the
hearing in the case concluded on that day.
The Appellate Division on June 18 started hearing the appeal filed by
The first tribunal on December 30, 2014, sentenced Azhar to death for
his crimes against humanity in Rangpur during the War of Liberation. The
tribunal found him guilty in five of the total six charges it had framed
During the War of Liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, Azhar collaborated
with Pakistani army to execute their plan and design in committing crimes
against humanity and genocide all over Rangpur district. As the commander of
Al-Badr Bahini, he resisted the War of Liberation and committed atrocities
all over the district through his members of Al-Badr Bahini, the ICT-1
He is held guilty of the offences of 'genocide' and 'crimes against
Humanity' enumerated in section 3(2)(a)(c)(i)(g) and (h) of the International
Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973 as listed in charge nos. 02, 03, and 04 and he
be convicted accordingly and sentenced to death for each of the said three
charges mentioned above and be hanged by the neck till he is dead, it added.
Azhars was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for charge number five and
was given five years imprisonment for charge number six.
The convicted war criminal filed the appeal against his conviction on
January 28, 2015.
Azhar, hailed from village Batason Lohanipara in Badorganj, Rangpur,
became president of Islami Chhatra Sangha, Jamaat's then student wing,
Rangpur district unit in 1971. As the broke out, he formed pro-Pakistani
death squad Al-Badr Bahini in the district.
As Bangladesh got liberated on December 16, 1971, he like many others of
his party went into hiding, only to be surfaced after the brutal killing of
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975.
Azhar joined Jamaat-e-Islami and managed to climb its ranks swiftly from
1982 to 1990. He was the president of Jamaat's Dhaka city unit from 1991-
2002. Azhar became the central assistant secretary general of Jamaat and
later was even in charge of general secretary of the extreme right wing
He was arrested on August 23, 2012, as the first tribunal issued arrest
warrant against him. The prosecution submitted formal charge against him on
July 18, 2013. The first tribunal July 25, 2013, took the charges pressed
against Azhar into cognizance.
The ICT-1 on November 12, 2013, framed six charges of crimes against
humanity against ATM Azharul Islam. During the trial proceedings, the
prosecution produced 19 witnesses including the investigation officer, while
the defence produced one.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)