Death warrants for convicted war criminals Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid have been sent to the prison authorities.
The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) issued the warrants Thursday morning after the Supreme Court published the full verdicts the previous day.
The warrants were then sent to the prison authorities, paving the way for execution of the two, guilty of crimes against humanities in the 1971 war.
“We have completed all formalities and handed over the death warrants. It’s now the prison authorities’ jurisdiction,” said ICT Registrar Shahidul Islam.
Wrapped in a red cloth, the warrants were given to the Dhaka Central Jail’s superintendent by an ICT team led by its Senior Research Officer Parvez Ahmed.
Copies of the warrants have been also sent to the home ministry, and the offices of district magistrate and deputy commissioner.
As per the formalities, the prison authorities now will read out the warrants to the convicts.
BNP Standing Committee member Salauddin Quader has been kept in the Kashimpur prison, while Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mujahid is in the Dhaka Central Jail.
They, however, have the option to file a petition for review of the verdict within 15 days from the publication of full verdict.
Once their review petitions are resolved and if their death sentences are upheld, the war crimes convicts can seek mercy from the president and meet family members.
If they are denied pardon or if they decline to appeal, the government will execute the convicts through the jail authorities.
Mujahid, a minister in Khaleda Zia’s coalition Cabinet, planned and executed mass murders including those of intellectuals, scientists, academics and journalists in 1971.
On Jul 17, 2013, the ICT ordered death sentence for him after he was proven guilty of mass killings and torture of Hindus during the Liberation War.
He filed an appeal against the verdict, but the Supreme Court upheld death for him.
BNP leader and former MP, Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, who had also served as a minister during HM Ershad’s regime, was sentenced to death by the tribunal on Oct 1, 2013.
The verdict depicted how he had led the Pakistani army to murder and loot in 1971, and how he had abducted freedom fighters and pro-liberation people, took them to his hilltop residence in Chittagong, and tortured them.
Chowdhury is the second former minister whose death sentence was confirmed by the Appellate Division after Mujahid.