Dhaka – Bangladesh’s top court has upheld the death sentence handed by a lower court to a former minister for committing crimes during the country’s 1971 war of liberation with Pakistan.
A four-member panel of judges by headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain announced the order on Tuesday against Syed Mohammad Qaisar, also a leader of the Jatiyo Party, rejecting his appeal against the trial court verdict.
The International Crimes Tribunal, which was set up in 2010 to prosecute the local collaborators of the Pakistani forces during the nine-month war, earlier in 2014 handed the death penalty to Qaisar after the prosecutors proved 14 counts of wartime crimes against him.
Qaisar as a leader of the Muslim League aided the Pakistani forces to carry put atrocities on the civilians during the war. But he became a man of Bangladesh Nationalist Party of slain president Ziaur Rahman and then he joined Jatiyo Party of former military dictator Hussain Muhammad Ershad. Qaiser was made state minister during Ershad regime.
Qaisar’s lawyer said they will file a review against the Supreme Court verdict once the certified copy of the judgment is available. He has two more options – seek the review and the presidential pardon – before the death sentence is executed.