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Jamaat-e-Islami leader indicted in Bangladesh over war crimes

Last Updated: Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 18:48

Dhaka: Fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami leader and media doyen Mir Quasem Ali was on Thursday indicted by a special Bangladeshi tribunal on charges of "crimes against humanity" committed during the 1971 liberation war.

"The hearing will begin on September 30," chairman of the International Crimes Tribunal-1 Justice A T M Fazle Kabir said while indicting Ali on 14 specific charges, including mass murders, abductions, torture and massacre.

Ali, a member of Jamaat central executive committee, has also been charged with killing eight persons and torturing at least 27 people in Chittagong during the war.

Prosecutors said he was the third man in the command structure of the then notorious al-Badr militia, manned mainly by the student wing of the extreme righting party to operate as a secret killing group in 1971 siding with the Pakistani troops.

They also accused him of preparing a list of leading intellectuals who were killed towards the end of the war.

Ali is a director of the Islami Bank and director of the NGO Rabita al-Alam al-Islami and chairman of Diganta Media Corporation that owns a TV channel and a newspaper.

After independence, Ali fled to Saudi Arabia and returned home after the August 15, 1971 coup toppled the post independence government by killing Bangladesh`s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with most of his family members.

Officially, three million people were killed in the war by the Pakistani army and their Bengali-speaking collaborators during the 1971 Liberation War.

Bangladesh launched the trial for 1971 war crimes in 2010 in line with ruling Awami League`s election pledges and so far two special tribunals which already handed down death penalty to four and long term or life imprisonments to two others.


First Published: Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 18:48
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