Dhaka, Feb 28: Top Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee was sentenced to death by a Dhaka tribunal on Thursday for committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
Sayedee, 73, who carries the title of Jamaat Nayeb-e-Ameer, was sentenced to death for eight wartime criminal offences, even as his party enforced a shutdown and warned of spreading anarchy across the country.
The three-member tribunal said eight out of 20 charges pressed against Sayedee were proved beyond doubt.
Sayedee received death penalties in two cases-filed for the killing of Ibrahim Kutti and Bisha Bali, reports the Daily Star.
Sayedee, however, disagreed with the judgement vehemently, and blamed the judges for “not giving the verdict from the core of their heart”.
The verdict came due to the excessive pressure from “some atheists of Shahbagh”, he claimed.
Many present in the courtroom yelled at Sayedee to keep his mouth shut, calling him “Promanito Razakar”, which means a “Proved Collaborator”.
Sayedee has since been moved to the Dhaka Central Jail.
His relatives and counsels said they would appeal against it.
Tarikul Islam, a member of the defence team, was quoted, as saying that his cleint did not merit capital punishment let alone spending even one day in jail.
Sayedee’s son Masud said that the verdict was delivered to satisfy a “third party”, but did not elaborate.
Justice Anwarul Haque of the International Crimes Tribunal-1 which held the trial started reading out the summary of the 120-page judgement in a heavily packed courtroom around 11:10am. After he read out certain parts of the summary, Justice Jahangir Hossain Selim read out rest of it.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice ATM Fazle Kabir, pronounced the punishment later as the proceedings came to an end at 1:40 p.m.
Of the six top Jamaat leaders charged with crimes against humanity, Sayedee is the second to be convicted.
Thursday’s verdict was the maiden judgement of the ICT-1. But it is the third war crimes verdict to be delivered.(ANI)