War crimes convict Azharul’s appeal hearing begins

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 15:43, Jun 18, 2019 | Updated : 16:59, Jun 18, 2019

Former Jamaat-e-Islami leader ATM Azharul Islam. File Photo

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC) has started hearing the appeal filed by former Jamaat-e-Islami leader ATM Azharul Islam challenging his death sentence for 1971 war crimes.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain began the hearing on Tuesday (Jun 18).
The chief justice then scheduled the next hearing for Wednesday (Jun 19).
Advocate Joynal Abedin Tuhin stood for Azharul while Attorney General Mahbubey Alam along with his other deputies represented the state.
On Dec 30, 2014, the International Crimes Tribunal-1 sentenced Azharul to death for murders, rapes and genocide in Rangpur during the Liberation War in 1971.
Azharul, a former Jamaat assistant secretary general, was found guilty on five of six charges framed against him.
The court said he should be hanged for Charge no -2, 3 and 4. In the charge No-2, he was accused of gunning down 15 unarmed innocent civilians in Dhap Para area in Rangpur on Apr 16.
In Charge no- 3, he was accused of massacre at Jharuarbeel and killing of more than 1,200 unarmed civilians on Apr 17. And in Charge number-3 he was accused of abduction and murder of four teachers of Carmichael College and others on Apr 30.
Besides, he was sentenced a total of 30 years of imprisonment in the remaining charge no-5 and 6 for raping women after confining them at Rangpur Town Hall between Mar 25 and Dec 16 and torture of Shawkat Hossain and Rafiqul Hasan between mid November and Dec 1.
Within a month of ICT's verdict, Azhar filed an appeal on Jan 28, 2015 seeking acquittal in the case.
On Aug 13, 2017, the Appellate Division then ordered him to submit summary of his appeal.
The appeal hearing was scheduled for Oct 10, 2017 but the convict's counsel pleaded for more time.
But the case appeared on the apex court’s hearing list on Apr 10 this year after one and a half years.