Death-row war crimes convict Mohammad Kamaruzzaman’s execution has been put on hold since a copy of the Supreme Court’s order rejecting his review plea is yet to reach the jail authorities.
Moreover, the issue of the Jamaat-e-Islami leader’s seeking presidential clemency has not been sorted out yet.
Asked about preparations to carry out the sentence, Law Minister Anisul Huq told bdnews24.com: “What can I do if the order has not reached [jail]?
“The order has to go there. How can he (Kamaruzzaman) be hanged otherwise?”
But the jail authorities were ready for the hanging, he said.
Al-Badr leader Kamaruzzaman was sentenced to death by a special tribunal in 2013 for Liberation War time atrocities.
Last year, the apex court upheld the death penalty describing his crimes “worse than Nazis”.
On Monday, the chief justice-headed bench threw out his plea to revise the sentence.
Minister Huq said, “It (the order’s copy) must go [to the jail authorities].”
Dhaka Central Jail’s Senior Superintendent Forman Ali told bdnews24.com on Monday evening that they were yet to get copy of the court’s order.
“We could not ask Kamaruzzaman about whether he would seek presidential mercy,” he added.
It depends on the president whether or not he will show mercy to the war criminal.
But if Kamaruzzaman chooses not to seek presidential clemency, the government will move to execute the death sentence.
Otherwise, the execution will have to wait for the outcome of the mercy petition.
Kamaruzzaman’s lawyer Shishir Monir said they believed the verdict execution would have to wait until the Appellate Division’s order that dismissed to review the death sentence reached jail.
Around 5pm, Supreme Court’s Registrar Syed Aminul Islam told bdnews24.com that the relevant section of the court was yet to receive summary of the verdict.
The convict’s family went to the jail around evening to meet him.
Jail officials say they have completed preparations to carry out whatever the government’s order may be.
Security around the jail area has been ratcheted up since morning to prevent untoward incidents.