Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee will file a review petition for acquittal even though his death sentence has been reduced to prison until death. His three lawyers and son spoke to journalists of the plans after meeting him at Dhaka Central Jail-1 at Kashimpur in Gazipur on Wednesday.
One of the lawyers, Matiur Rahman Akhand, said, “Three different verdicts on the trial came from the Appellate Division. One judge acquitted him, another handed down death penalty while the three other sentenced him to jail until death.”
“Why should there be so much difference in the judgment? said Matiur Rahman Akhand.
Jail Superintendent Subrata Kumar Bala said Sayedee’s son Masud Sayedee and his three counsels M Yusuf Ali, Saifur Rahman and Akhand spoke to the Nayeb-e-Amir of Jamaat for nearly half an hour.
Only a day before, the State filed the application for a review of the judgment with the relevant section of the Supreme Court.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam later told journalists, “We have filed a review petition.”
According to the rules, a petition for a review of the appeals verdict has to be filed by the State or defence within 15 days after the full verdict is published or made known to them – whichever is earlier.
Masud Sayedee had said on Tuesday they got a copy of the full judgment on January 3 and so, they have until Jan 18 to go for a review.
The Supreme Court’s full verdict was published on December 31, 2015, fifteen months after the Appellate Division pronounced the verdict.
This is the first case of the war crimes trial in which the State is seeking to maintain the tribunal’s verdict.
Sayedee was given the death penalty on two counts of crimes against humanity in 2013 by the war crimes tribunal.
He was found guilty of committing crimes against humanity during Bangladesh’s independence struggles in 1971. The number two leader of Jamaat-e-Islami had appealed against the death sentence, seeking acquittal in the case.
On September 17, 2014, the Appellate Division bench headed by the then Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain delivered the verdict.
It was a majority judgment by the five-strong bench, according to bdnews24.com.