B’desh SC upholds death penalty of Jamaat-linked media tycoon
Bangladeshi media tycoon and fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mir Quasem Ali could be executed soon. This comes after the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld his death sentence for committing war crimes during the country’s 1971 Liberation War against Pakistan.
A five-member Bench, headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, the first Hindu to occupy the post in the Muslim-majority country, pronounced a single-word judgement in the packed court room.
“Rejected,” said Sinha on the appeal of 64-year-old Ali, the infamous pro-Pakistan Al-Badr milita’s third most important figure after Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami and Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid. Both Nizami and Mujahid have already been executed for 1971 war crimes. Ali is considered as the key-financier of Jamaat, opposed to 1971 war.
In his brief comments after the verdict, attorney general Mahbubey Alam said that Ali could now seek presidential clemency as his last resort to save himself from the gallows. “He now could be (sent) to (the) gallows anytime if he does not seek clemency or his mercy petition is rejected,” Alam told reporters. Ali’s lawyers were not available for comments.
The Apex Court’s decision paves the way for Ali’s execution unless he seeks presidential pardon. Ali had filed the review petition after the SC published its full verdict and the International Crimes Tribunal issued the death warrant against him on June 6.