Jamaat leader Azhar given death penalty for war crimes

Jamaat leader Azhar given death penalty for war crimes

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The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)-1 Tuesday awarded death penalty to assistant secretary general of Jamaat-e-Islami ATM Azharul Islam on the charge of crimes against humanity in Rangpur during the War of Liberation of 1971.
The three-member tribunal headed by its Chairman Justice M Enayetur Rahim, passed the verdict in presence of the accused around 13.00 hours this afternoon. It found him guilty of five among the six charges against him.He was sentenced a total of 30 years of imprisonment o the charge of raping women after confining them at Rangpur Town Hall between March 25 and December 16 and torture of Shawkat Hossain and Rafiqul Hasan between mid November and December 1.
Justice Anwarul Haque began delivering the 158-page verdict against the accused with reading out the introductory part around 11.18am while his colleague Justice Jahangir Hossain read out the keynotes and finished around 12.38 this afternoon.
Hailing the tribunal verdict Prosecutor Zead Al Malum told the waiting reporters, “Five charges out of six against Azhar have been proved beyond any reasonable doubt.
Earlier at 9.15 in the morning Azhar was brought to the tribunal from Dhaka Central Jail. Stringent security measures were taken in and around the tribunal to avert any untoward incident centering the verdict.
The tribunal kept the verdict waiting since September 18 after hearing arguments of both the prosecution and defence.
Azharul was arrested from his Moghbazar residence in the capital on August 22, 2012 upon an arrest warrant issued against him by the tribunal for his alleged involvement in wartime criminal offences.
During the War of Liberation, Azhar, son of late Nazir Hossain and Ramicha Khatun of Batasan Lohanipara in Badarganj upazila, was an intermediate student of Rangpur Carmichael College. He was also the commander of Rangpur unit of Al-Badr, a heinous auxiliary force to the Pakistani occupation forces.
Earlier on November 12 last year, the tribunal indicted Azharul and heard the first prosecution on December 26 the same year.
A total of 19 prosecution witnesses including investigation officer M Idris Ali of the case gave their testimonies while one Anwarul Haque, a distant relative of Azhar, gave testimony in favour of the accused. It is the 15th verdict delivered by the two tribunals. – BSS

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