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Bangladesh's Mojaheed loses death sentence appeal

Bangladesh's highest court has upheld the death sentence imposed on a leading Islamist for war crimes committed in 1971. Dozens of intellectuals were murdered during the country's independence war.

Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, the general secretary of Bangladesh's largest Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami, lost his appeal on Tuesday before the country's supreme court.

Prosecutor Soumya Reza said Mojaheed could be hanged within months.

Bangladesch Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed Urteil Kriegsverbrechen

Mojaheed faces death sentence

Deadly nationwide protests involving Mojaheed's supporters erupted in 2013 when he was found guilty of five charges, including murder and torture for his past role as the leader of Al Bahr, a pro-Pakistani militia.

In 1971, dozens of writers, journalists and academics were abducted and murdered in the Dhaka area when it became clear that Pakistan was losing the war that saw the emergence of Bangladesh.

Clemency?

Mojaheed's defense lawyer Shishad Manir said a penalty review by the same court would still be sought. His fate could also depend on a presidential clemency.

Two other senior Jamaat officials were recently executed for their roles during the 1971 crackdown, the latest in April this year.

ipj/jil AFP, AP)

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