Dhaka: Fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami chief and 1971 war crimes convict Motiur Rahman Nizami has been shifted to Dhaka Central Jail from a suburban prison as his execution seemed imminent.
“He (Nizami) has been brought here (Dhaka Jail) last night as part of the process to execute the Supreme Court verdict. We are prepared to carry out the process in Dhaka Central Jail,” a senior prison official said.
He said the 73-year-old top leader of Bangladesh’s biggest Islamist party was kept in an isolated cell in the prison “as per procedure”.
Prison authorities, however, were still waiting for the copy of the Supreme Court judgement.
“I can’t tell you when the death sentence will be executed but what I want to say is that the verdict will be carried out after exhausting all legal procedures,” said Home Minister Asaduzzaman Kamal.
Nizami’s final appeal against his death sentence for war crimes committed during the 1971 Liberation War against Pakistan was rejected by the Supreme Court on May 5.
He was brought to the capital in a special prison van escorted by a number of police vehicles from the Kashimpur Central Jail.
According to witnesses, security vigil was intensified overnight around the prison in the old part of Dhaka with elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) forces deployed along with police in riot gear.
He was given capital punishment in October 2014 after being convicted of “superior responsibility” as the chief of the infamous Al-Badr militia forces in 1971.
Nizami lost exhausted his legal options on May 5 when the Court reconfirmed his death penalty, upholding its previous judgement that had confirmed his death sentence.
Family members met him the next day at suburban Kashimpur Central Jail.
Nizami, a former lawmaker and minister in ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia’s cabinet, has been in jail since 2010, when he was arrested to be tried 1971 war crimes in the ICT-BD which handed him down death penalty on October 29, 2014 on charges of mass murder, arson, loot and rape.