The International Crimes Tribunal -2 (ICT) on Tuesday awarded death penalty to former state minister Syed Mohammad Qaisar for crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
The 73-year-old former minister found guilty on 14 charges out of 16. Among 14, he has been awarded death penalty on 7 charges, jail until death on 4 charges while 10, 7 and 5 years’ imprisonment for three other charges.
Three-member tribunal, headed by Justice Obaidul Hassan, pronounced the verdict.
Another two members are-- Justice Mohammad Mujibur Rahman and Justice Mohammad Shahinur Islam.
The tribunal said justice would be met when the punishment of the convict would be effective.
The tribunal also termed Qaisar's crimes "horrific criminal acts".
Mentioning that the rape victims are the symbol of trauma, the tribunal said the government may initiate a compensation scheme for them.
It said "the rape victims should be honoured as freedom fighters".
The tribunal also said "the nation salutes the sacrifice of the rape victims".
Stating that Qaisar was a potential and trusted aide of the Pakistani occupation army, the tribunal said his crimes belong to the darkest chapter of the Liberation War history.
Earlier in the morning, he was taken to the tribunal from jail by a prison van amid tight security.
On August 20, the tribunal kept its judgment pending for delivery any day, after formally closing law-point arguments from both sides in the trial of 1971 war crimes against humanity allegedly perpetrated by Qaiser, and sent him to jail revoking its August 5, 2013, conditional bail granted on medical and humanitarian grounds.
Qaisar was indicted on February 2. He was arrested in the capital on May 21, 2013.
He faces charges of crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 Liberation War.
Qaisar has been charged for raping an indigenous woman on May 11 or 12th of 1971. He along with the Pakistani army personnel had gone to Chunarughat area and raped the Santal woman.
Charges one and five state that Qaisar during April 27-30 along with the army men went to Bijoynagar, Madhabpur, Shayestaganj and Habiganj sadar where abduction, confinement, torture and murder took place upon the order of Qaisar.
Charges six, seven and eight mentioned about the offences took place in May 1971. At that time, at least 17 people had been murdered and seriously tortured by Qaisar along with Pakistani army.
According to charges 12-16, he had captured freedom fighters from Chunarughat, Madhabpur and Nasirnagar. In these criminal incidents, Qaisar used his personal force “Qaisar Bahini” to assist the Pakistani army.