War crimes: Appellate Division upholds Kaiser’s death penalty
Kaiser had raised a militia in his name – ‘Kaiser Bahini’ – with 500-600 anti-liberation activists to support the Pakistan Army during the war
The Appellate Division on Tuesday upheld the death penalty of Syed Mohammad Kaiser, a former state minister from Jatiya Party, for his crimes against humanity during the country's Liberation War in 1971.
A four-member bench of the top court, headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, read out the summary of the judgment on Kaiser's appeal against the death sentence handed by the International Crimes Tribunal.
According to the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973, after the release of the full text of the judgement by the top court, Syed Mohammed Kaiser will get an opportunity to file a review petition against the verdict within 30 days.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam moved for the state while Khandkar Mahbub Hossain and SM Shahjahan argued for the death row convict.
Now Kaiser's destiny depends on the judgement on the review petition.
Kaiser's lawyer Khandkar Mahbub Hossein told journalists that they will file a review petition after getting the full text of the judgement.
He claimed that the judgement has not been declared correctly as the government lawyer failed to prove Kaiser's crimes for which he had been punished by the International Crimes Tribunal.
On the other hand, state lawyer Attorney General Mahbubey Alam expressed satisfaction over the judgment.
A Muslim League leader in 1971, Kaiser was sentenced to death on December 23, 2014, after being found guilty of murder, arson, loot, rape and genocide in Brahmanbaria and Habiganj during wartime.
Kaiser had raised a militia in his name – "Kaiser Bahini" – with 500 to 600 anti-liberation activists to support the Pakistan Army during the war.
He guided the Pakistani troops to various villages to attack and abuse Hindus and supporters of Bangladesh's independence.
He went into hiding as soon as the country became free and later resurfaced in Bangladesh politics in 1978.
Kaiser contested as an independent candidate and won the 1979 parliamentary polls from the Sylhet-17 constituency.
He later joined the BNP after it had been founded by the country's first military dictator Ziaur Rahman, and became the president of its Habiganj unit.
He later shifted to HM Ershad's Jatiya Party and won from the Habiganj-4 constituency in 1988.
He became the state minister for agriculture during Ershad's regime.
The tribunal had sentenced Kaiser to death on seven counts of charges, including the rapes of two women.
One of the Biranganas and her child testified in the case.
Another count of charge involved indiscriminate killing. The tribunal had also sentenced him to 22 years in jail on four counts of charges of abduction, torture and murder.
In the appeal's verdict, the top court also upheld Kaiser's death sentence on the seven counts of charges. His imprisonment until death on one count of charges was also upheld.