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War Crimes Trial

5 Netrokona Razakars get death

Published : Friday, 29 March, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 1039

The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)-1 on Thursday sentenced five fugitive Razakars from Netrokona, to death for committing crimes against humanity during the country's Liberation War in 1971.
The death row convicts are Sheikh Md. Abdul Majid alias Majid Mawlana, 66, Md Abdul Khalek Talukder, 67, Md Kabir Khan, 70, Abdus Salam Begh, 68, and Nuruddin, 70. All of them are residents of Purbadhala upazila. They were tried in absentia.
A three-member bench, led by Justice Shahinur Islam, handed down the verdict pronouncing," they be hanged by the neck till they are dead, under section 20(2) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973."
They had joined the
Nizam-e-Islami and Muslim League parties which collaborated against the Liberation War and conducted different crimes against humanity. The tribunal found them guilty of all the seven charges that it framed against them.
"It appears that the convicted accused Sheikh Md. Abdul Majid and Md Abdul Khalek Talukder, in exercise of their significant de facto dominance over the locally formed Razakar Bahini and forming gang of their cohort Razakars carried out criminal acts directing civilian population with conscious knowledge about the consequences thereof," the verdict said.
"They could not be arrested in execution of warrant issued by tribunal and they even did not opt to surrender in response to the notification published as required under law, to face the accusation. Presumably, they are on the run to evade responsibility of offences perpetrated by them and such conduct increases their culpability," the 240-page verdict reads.
The tribunal said since the five convicts have been absconding, the 'sentence of death' as awarded above shall be executed after causing their arrest or when they surrender before the Tribunal, whichever is earlier.
The convicts will have an opportunity to appeal the verdict at the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court within a month if they surrender," the judgement said.
On January 28, the tribunal kept the verdict waiting after both the prosecution and defence completed their closing arguments in the case, she said.
"The tribunal actually brought charges against six persons but two of the accused - Ahammad Ali, 78, and Abdur Rahman, 70, died of old age ailments in custody. As a result, proceedings have only concluded in the case against the five fugitives, Prosecutor Sabina Yesmin Khan Munni told the Daily Observer.  
Abdul Quadir, a freedom fighter of Purbadhala upazila and brother of one of the victims, filed the case in 2013.
The prosecution on May 22, 2016, submitted the formal charge in the case. On April 19, 2017, the ICT-1 indicted the accused, framing seven charges against them.
Prosecutors Mokhlesur Rahman Badal and Sabina Yasmin Manni represented the state in the case. State assigned defence lawyer Gazi MH Tamim represented the five absconding suspects in the case.

The ICT has so far disposed of 36 cases relating to the crimes committed during the countries Liberation War in 1971. At least 85 accused have been penalised in the cases with 58 getting the capital punishment while five died of aging complications during trials.

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