1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Bangladesh politician sentenced to death

November 2, 2014

A Bangladesh court has sentenced an lslamist politician to death for crimes committed in connection with the country's 1971 war. This comes just days after another member of the same party also received a death sentence.

Mir Quasem Ali
Image: STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

The special court on Sunday found Mir Quasem Ali guilty of eight charges, including murder and abduction, stemming from Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. Two of the charges carried a death sentence, while the others amounted to 72 years in prison.

After the verdict was read out, Ali , who is a member of the executive of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, protested, describing the witnesses who had testified against him as "fake."

A member of the defense team for Ali, who owns a television station and a newspaper, said they intended to appeal.

"We will file appeal against the verdict in the higher court," defense lawyer Mizanul Islam said.

The decision follows a verdict on Wednesday in which the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, Motiur Rahman Nizami, was sentenced to death for having led a pro-Pakistan militia during the 1971 conflict.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina set up the special court in 2010 to put alleged local collaborators with the Pakistani military during the war of independence on trial.

Jamaat-e-Islami and the main opposition Bangladesh National Party have accused Hasina of using the court to weaken her political opponents. Hasina argues that the trials serve to help heal the wounds from the nine-month-long conflict, which, according to government estimates, left around three million people dead.

Jamaat-e-Islami called a nationwide general strike on Sunday to protest against the court's decision.

pfd/tj (AFP, dpa, AP)