The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday set March 8 for delivering its judgment on appeal filed by war criminal Mir Quasem Ali challenging his death penalty.
A five-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha set the date after concluding hearings on the appeal petition filed by the Jamaat-e-Islami leader.
Earlier, the court set March 2 for delivering the verdict. After one hour, the bench shifted the verdict to March 8. The appeal hearing began on Feb 7 this year.
Mir Quasem was the third man in vigilante militia Al-Badr's command structure during the 1971 Liberation War.
Under his command local collaborators of Pakistan Army let loose a reign of terror to suppress the freedom struggle in Chittagong.
On November 2, he was convicted on eight charges but got the maximum penalty for two - the killing of freedom fighter 'Jashim' along with five unidentified others and the murders of Ranjit Das and Tuntun Sen. He was given a total of 72 years in prison on eight other offences committed during Liberation War in 1971.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam prayed to the SC to uphold Mir Quasem's death penalty. Khandker Mahbub Hossain, chief defence counsel for the war criminal, prayed for his acquittal saying that the state counsels failed to prove the charges.
Mir Quasem, who is originally from Munshidangi Sutalori under Harirampur in Manikganj, joined Islami Chhatra Sangha, then student wing of Jamaat, in 1967 while studying at Chittagong Collegiate School. He later became its Chittagong City unit general secretary.
He played an important role in forming al-Badr Bahini that orchestrated systematic killing of freedom fighters and intellectuals.
He had set up makeshift torture camps at different places in the port city including Daleem Hotel in Andorkilla, where pro-liberation people were confined and tortured. Other allegations against him include involvement in mass killings in Asadnagar and Panchlaish areas.
In collaboration with the Pakistani occupation forces Mir Quasem opened several torture cells in the city including Dost Mohammad Panjabi building and Salma Manjil where M Omar-ul-Islam and Lutfar Rahman Faruk, among others, were tortured following abduction.