The Supreme Court has thrown out Jatiya Party leader and former state minister Syed Mohammed Kaiser’s challenge against his death sentence by a war crimes tribunal.
A four-member Appellate Division bench headed by chief justice Syed Mahmud Hossain issued the verdict on Tuesday upholding the death penalty handed by the International Crimes Tribunal. The tribunal sentenced Kaiser to death on December 23, 2014, for crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War, bdnews24.com reported.
A Muslim League leader in 1971, Kaiser was convicted of murder, arson, loot, rape and genocide.
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 liberation.
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, when it was founded by 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 sentenced him to death on seven counts of charges, including the rapes of two women.
One of the Biranganas and a person born to her, a ‘War Child’, testified in the case.
Another count of charge that brought him the death sentence 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 appeals verdict, the top court also upheld Kaiser’s death sentence on the seven counts of charges. His jailing until death on one count of charges was also upheld.