World Bulletin / News Desk
Bangladesh's Supreme Court has adjourned until Thursday a hearing to decide if an Islamist opposition leader can appeal against his death penalty.
Abdul Quader Mollah, found guilty of war crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan, was due to be hanged at Dhaka Central Jail just after midnight on Wednesday, but his lawyers earned a last-minute reprieve.
Later in the morning, lawyers met at the Supreme Court's appeals division and will resume arguments on Thursday, a state prosecutor said. The stay of execution remains until the appeal against the death penalty is resolved, he added.
Mollah is assistant secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, which is barred from contesting elections but plays a key role in the opposition movement led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).
He is one of five Islamist leaders condemned to death by Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal(ICT), set up in 2010 to investigate atrocities perpetrated during the 1971 conflict, in which three million people died.
Critics of the ICT say it has been used as a political tool by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is locked in a long and poisonous feud with BNP leader Begum Khaleda Zia, as a way of weakening the opposition as Jan. 5 elections approach.Last Mod: 11 Aralık 2013, 13:52