Bangladesh, Dhaka: The high court of Bangladesh Today upheld the death sentence of a top Islamist leader and business tycoon for war crimes, clearing the way for his execution within months. Chief Justice S K Sinha announced in the Supreme Court he had dismissed the appeal of Mir Quasem Ali, who was convicted of murder and abduction during Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence.
Mir Quasem Ali, a shipping and real estate tycoon, headed a media corporation aligned with Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party, Jamaat-i-Islami before his arrest in 2012. He was convicted of running a militia torture cell that carried out killings including that of a young independence fighter. Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told, “The court upheld his death sentence for the abduction and murder of a young freedom fighter whose body was dumped in a river”.
The 63-year-old faces the gallows within months unless his case is reviewed by the same court or he is granted clemency by the Bangladeshi president. Three senior Jamaat officials and a leader of the main opposition party have been executed since December 2013 for war crimes, despite global criticism of their trials by a controversial war crimes tribunal. The executions and previous convictions against other Jamaat officials plunged the country into one of its worst crises in 2013.