Three war criminals from Patuakhali yesterday filed an appeal with the Supreme Court challenging the death sentence they were given for committing crimes against humanity and war crimes during the Liberation War in 1971.
Convicts Abdul Goni Hawlader, 72, Md Awal alias Awal Moulavi, 69, and Solaiman Mridha, 86, collectively filed the appeal through their lawyer seeking acquittal of charges.
Citing from the petition, their lawyer Advocate Abdus Sattar Palowan told The Daily Star the convicted men are innocent, and the prosecution has failed to prove the charges before the tribunal beyond reasonable doubt.
The Sector Commanders' Forum had conducted an inquiry against them, but the forum did not place any investigation report to the tribunal, he said, adding the prosecution has brought the charges against them to have them punished.
The apex court will decide whether to hear the appeal, said the lawyer. The International Crimes Tribunal-1 on August 13 found five Patuakhali men guilty of crimes against humanity in 1971 and sentenced them to death.
The five Razakar men were found guilty of participating and assisting Pakistan army in the killing of 17 people, rape of 15 women and torture of several others in Itbaria village of Patuakhali Sadar upazila in May 1971.
All five convicts including the aforementioned three hail from Patuakhali Sadar and are behind bars. Two of them Esahaq Shikder, 83, and Abdus Sattar Pyada, 65, are yet to submit any appeal, said their lawyer.