The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Sunday fixed 10 October for hearing the appeals filed by Jamaat-e-Islami leader ATM Azharul Islam and former Jatiya Party state minister Syed Mohammad Qaiser challenging the international Crimes Tribunal, Bangladesh (ICT,B) verdict that sentenced them to death.
A three-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, fixed the date, , reports UNB.
The apex court also asked both the parties of the appeals for submitting their concise statements within 24 August.
The now defunct ICT,B-2 on 23 December 2014, sentenced Qaiser to death as the 14 charges out of the total sixteen framed against him were proven beyond any doubt.
The tribunal handed down the death penalty to him in seven charges, life imprisonment in four charges, jail term of 10, 7 and 5 years in three charges and was acquitted in the remaining two charges, but the jail term will naturally get merged into the sentence of death.
The tribunal in its observation also asked the state to initiate a compensation scheme for the rape victims of 1971 and the 'war babies' - children of women raped by the Pakistan army or anti-liberation forces.
Qaiser filed appeal against his conviction on 19 January 2015.
Meanwhile, the ICT,B-1 on 30 December 2014 sentenced Jamaat-e-Islami assistant secretary general ATM Azharul Islam to death for crimes against humanity committed in Rangpur during the War of Liberation. It found him guilty of five charges.
The court said he should be hanged for three of the charges, numbers 2, 3 and 4. In the charge no. 2, he was accused of gunning down 15 unarmed innocent civilians in Dhap Para area in Rangpur on 16 April.
In charge no. 3, he was accused of committing massacre at Jharuarbeel and killing of more than 1,200 unarmed civilians on 17 April. And in charge no. 4 he was accused of abduction and murder of four teachers of Carmichael College and others on 30 April.
Besides, he was sentenced to a total of 30 years of imprisonment on the remaining charges numbers 5 and 6, for raping women after confining them at Rangpur Town Hall between 25 March and 16 December and torturing of Shawkat Hossain and Rafiqul Hasan between mid November and 1 December.
Azhar filed appeal against his conviction on 28 January 2015.
The ICT,B – a domestic tribunal set up in 2009 shortly after the assumption of power by Bangladesh Awami League to investigate and prosecute suspects for the crimes against humanity committed in 1971 – has awarded death penalties to several opposition top figures.