SC clears Nizami death penalty

SC clears Nizami death penalty


The Supreme Court has cleared the death sentence of Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami who was earlier awarded the sentence for crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 War of Liberation.A four-member top appeals court bench led by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha read out the summary of the verdict just after 9am on Wednesday.The other senior judges on the bench were Justice Nazmun Ara Sultana, Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain and Justice Hasan Foez Siddique.The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) had ordered hanging of Nizami on Oct 29, 2014, for murders and rapes in Pabna and mass killing of intellectuals during the War of Independence.The apex court has now upheld that verdict by throwing out Nizami’s appeal.In 1971, Nizami was the chief of Islami Chhatra Sangha, then student wing of Jamaat. He also faced charge of heading the Al-Badr militia created by the Pakistan army to suppress the Bengali rebellion.

The previous judgment had referred to his key role in the Razakar force and the Peace Committee, all working to suppress the Bengali rebellion.When the verdict was pronounced, 72-year old Nizami was in Gazipur’s Kashimpur jail.This former Industry minister was also given the death penalty in 2014 for arms trafficking in Chittagong’s sensational 10-truck arms haul case.Nizami’s verdict is the sixth war crimes case judged by the apex court after the war crimes tribunal was set up in 2010.Those inside the packed courtroom were joined by large crowds gathered outside the court premises in welcoming Wednesday’s verdict. Several processions were also taken out in various places to celebrate the verdict.Nizami is the third former minister to be on death row over war crimes committed in 1971.This is the second verdict of the top appeals court over the killing of intellectuals.


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