"(The review petition is) not maintainable, (it's) rejected," Chief Justice Muzammel Hossain ruled at a packed courtroom amid tight security after two days of hearing on the maintainability of the review prayers.

The verdict removes the last barrier for the execution of 65-year-old Mollah, who has been lodged at the high security Dhaka Central Jail. There was no immediate word on when the death sentence will be carried out.

For his atrocities and for siding with Pakistani troops during the 1971 Liberation War, Mollah was dubbed as the "Butcher of Mirpur" where led the infamous Al-Badr militia which slaughtered a large number of people including children.

Mollah, the assistant secretary-general of the Jamaat-e-Islami and the fourth-highest Jamaat leader, was the first politician to be found guilty by the Supreme Court after it rejected an appeal to acquit him of all charges.

Court officials said all the judges of the five-member bench of the Appellate Division on Thursday unanimously delivered the decision as the defence lawyers exhausted their last legal effort to save Mollah.

Previously the same bench sentenced him to death when one of the five judges preferred life imprisonment instead of the capital punishment. Attorney General Mahbubey Alam earlier opposed the defence plea, saying the constitution did not grant the scope for convicts of crimes against humanity to get reviewed the verdicts against them by the apex court.

"Despite our arguments about lack of scopes of hearing their review petition, the highest court heard them for two days and came up with the decision, now there is no legal bar against executing the verdict," Alam said.

Chief defence lawyer Abdur Razzak said the apex court has an inherent capacity or authority to review such judgments. He said Mollah could still get seven days of time to seek the presidential clemency. Asked for comments about Razzak's remarks on the clemency, Alam said he was earlier asked if he wanted to be pardoned when "he gave no reply".

Tight vigil was enforced in and around the court complex where lawyers were allowed entrance only after security checks as suspected Jamaat activists attacked the village home of the second Supreme Court judge in as many days.

(Agencies)

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