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Friday, November 7, 2014, Kartik 23, 1421, Muharram 13, 1436 Hijr

Hanging Of Kamaruzzaman
No SC order, ICT death warrant yet
Pulack Ghatack
Publish Date : 2014-11-07,  Publish Time : 00:00,  View Count : 11
The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)-2 is yet to issue any death warrant against Assistant Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, though the Supreme Court upheld his death penalty for committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
"The ICT-2 will not issue death warrant until it receives any order from the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC)," Deputy Registrar of the Tribunal Arunava Chakraborty told The Daily Observer on Thursday.
"The only order we issued was a 'conviction warrant' under which the jail authorities have kept him in a condemned cell. We did not issue any order since then," he said. The conviction warrant was issued on May 9, 2013, just after the delivery of the death sentence by ICT-2.
Apprehending possible delay in releasing the full judgment of the Appellate Division, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam requested the SC to deliver a short order on Monday. The SC did not deliver any such order since Thursday, the last working day of the week.
"We did not get any order from the Supreme Court till now," Arunava Chakraborty said yesterday evening.
However, the government, "in order to avoid some unexpected hassles," wants to execute the SC verdict as soon as possible, reliable sources said.
The jail authorities or the functionaries of the government would not disclose the exact time of execution. However some officials hinted that the government wants to execute Kamaruzzaman at the expiry of his time to beg President's pardon.
Law minister Anisul Huq on Wednesday said that the convict will get seven days to seek Presidential clemency after hearing the SC's decision. Seven days end on Sunday.
Foreign pressures mounted on the government before hanging of another war crime convict Jamaat leader Kader Molla last year. United Nation's Secretary General Bun Ki Mun and US Secretary of State John Kerry phoned Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina requesting her not to hang the war criminal.
The government asked the jail authorities to prepare for hanging Kamaruzzaman and so, the Dhaka Central Jail is now ready to execute the court's order.
"The International Crimes (Tribunals) Act has entitled the government to execute the verdict. It is the government, who will decide when to carry out the task. The government will do its duty as per law," AG Mahbubey Alam told the Daily Observer on Thursday.
"It is a matter of time to execute the court order," he reiterated while talking to reporters at his office in the SC. The words 'matter of time' mean the convict can be hanged today, three days later, one week later or after a month," he explained.
However, the defence lawyers are opposing the government's stance terming it unjust.
The Law Minister's order to jail authorities to prepare for Kamaruzzaman's execution was a case of transgressing his jurisdiction, defence counsel Shishir Monir told journalists yesterday.
"A review petition will be filed within 30 days of receiving a copy of the full verdict. The issue of Presidential clemency will figure after the review petition," Shishir Monir told reporters after meeting convict Kamaruzzaman at Dhaka Central Jail.
He claimed that there was an option to review the verdict.
The issue of reviewing the verdict came up when verdict on Kader Molla was being implemented. His lawyers sought a review of the SC verdict demanding his acquittal.
The petitions had prompted a last-minute postponement of Molla's execution. But after two days of hearing, both pleas were rejected and he was hanged on December 12 last year.
But since the full verdicts of those rulings are yet to be published, the state and the defence have come up with different versions over SC verdict on Kamaruzzaman.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
Published by the Editor on behalf of the Observer Ltd. from Globe Printers, 24/A, New Eskaton Road, Ramna, Dhaka. Editorial, News and Commercial Offices : Aziz Bhaban (2nd floor), 93, Motijheel C/A, Dhaka-1000. Phone :9586651-58. Fax: 9586659-60, Advertisemnet: 9513663, E-mail: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]