Kamaruzzaman's death sentence execution apparently postponed

Kamaruzzaman’s death sentence execution apparently postponed


Jail authorities on Friday evening apparently postponed a decisioin to go ahead with executing the verdict given against Jamaat Leader Muhammad Kamaruzzaman who has remained in a death row for sometime.
Earlier two magistrates visited the Dhaka Central Jail to ask death-row convict Mohammad Kamaruzzaman if he wants to seek presidential mercy.
But the jail authorities and the officials did not reveal anything about the Jamaat-e-Islami leader’s decision.
Senior jail Superintendent Forman Ali sidetracked questions about Friday’s visit.
“They came on an official business,” he said when asked about the magistrates’ visit but declined to comment on whether Kamaruzzaman had informed the officials of his decision.
Security build up in and around the central jail as lessened after 9pm on Friday;
The Jamaat senior assistant secretary general was sentenced to death for atrocities during Bangladesh’s Liberation War.
The Appellate Division upheld the sentence. Chief Justice SK Sinha-led bench on Apr 6 rejected his plea for a review of the penalty the top court had handed him.
A jail official told journalists that the two magistrates spoke to Kamaruzzaman for a while.
“They went out after a meeting with top jail officials for over half an hour,” the source said, declining to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
Two officials had reached the jail just after 10am. They identified themselves as “magistrates” when journalists asked them who they were.
A detective police official said the jail visitors list had Dhaka district magistrates Mahbub Jamil and Tanveer Ajim’s names.
State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Thursday said district magistrates would visit the convict soon.
“If Kamaruzzaman files a mercy petition then it will be forwarded to the president. Otherwise, the verdict will be carried out as soon as possible,” he said.
Kamaruzzaman’s family has already visited him once on the jail authority’s invitation after the verdict, fulfilling one of the two steps required before he can be executed.
If he does, he will have to admit to his crimes. The president will decide once the plea reaches him.
If the petition is rejected or if the convict does not seek mercy, the government will take steps to execute the convict.
A copy of the full verdict reached the prison authorities on Wednesday and was read out to to the death-row convict.
Kamaruzzaman said he would decide on presidential pardon after meeting his lawyers. They visited him on Thursday and said their client would take time to decide.
In response, Kamal said he would be given only a day to make up his mind.
Earlier on Thursday counsels of Muhammad Kamaruzzaman have said their client will ‘think and decide’ about whether to seek presidential clemency.
Following a 30-minute discussion with their client at the Dhaka Central Jail on Thursday, his key counsel Shishir Monir said, “He said he will think about the next step. He will inform the appropriate authorities of his decision after thinking over the matter.”He discussed with us various aspects of it. He asked us for clarifications, preceding cases and related laws. We, as his counsels, advised him on them as far as we could, he added.
The five, Shishir Monir, Ehsan A Siddique, Mashiul Alam, Matiur Rahman Akhand and Maujahidul Islam Shahin, entered the prison complex around 10:48am on Thursday.
When asked how long Kamaruzzaman will take to decide, he said, “He would take ‘reasonable’ time … He has taken time to analyse, time to think, when he will inform jail authorities… he will decide after talking with the authorities.”
The war crimes convict was “physically fit and mentally doing well”, according to his lawyer.
The jail code, which allows time from 7 to 21 days to resolve the issue of presidential clemency, will not be applicable for trials under the war crimes tribunal, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam had said earlier.
After the top appeals court rejected the review plea on Monday, he told journalists that there was no specified time frame to resolve the issue. There is also no specific instructions about when the convict will ask for pardon.
“But that does not mean that he will get 7 days or 15 days. The jail authorities will inform [Kamaruzzaman], and after that set a time for him to appeal.
“The jail authorities will decide on how long that would be.”
The law requires the convict to admit to his crimes before seeking presidential mercy. The president will decide once the plea reaches him. – News Desk


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