B’desh war crimes verdict on Jamaat chief today

A Bangladesh tribunal will deliver its verdict on Tuesday for Motiur Rahman Nizami, chief of fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami, accused of crimes against humanity during the country’s liberation war against Pakistan in 1971.

The International Crimes Tribunal-1 (ICT-1) will deliver the verdict tomorrow,’ a court official said. Nizami, 69, is charged with 16 counts of war crimes including murder, rape, looting, abetment and the massacre of Bengali intellectuals during the liberation war.

The charges include the murder of 70 people and torching 72 houses in December, 1971 in Pabna’s Bera Upazila, murdering 450 people in Demra and Baushia villages, killing many more in front of a Hindu temple in Santhiya Upazila. About three million people were killed by the Pakistani army and their Bengali-speaking collaborators during the liberation war, according to official estimates. Nizami, then the head of the East-Pakistan unit of Jamaat’s student affiliate -- Islami Chhatra Shangha -- is one of the last high-profile accused in the case.

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