DHAKA (AFP) – A media tycoon who is a key figure in Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party was sentenced to death Sunday for war crimes, just days after its leader was ordered to hang for similar offences.
A war crimes court found wealthy businessman Mir Quasem Ali, an official of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, guilty of 10 charges including murder and abduction during Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence against Pakistan.
Ali, 63, stood up and loudly protested the verdict as the head judge an-nounced the sentence in a packed courtroom.
“It’s a motivated judgement,” he said, accusing the court of acting on instructions from the secular government.
Ali, who owns a television station and newspaper aligned with Jamaat, was convicted of running a torture cell of a pro-Pakistani militia that carried out killings – including that of a young independence fighter.
“The country and the affected people have finally got justice. Mir Quasem Ali has been sentenced to death for the murder of a teenage free-dom fighter, Jashim,” prosecutor Ziad Al Malum told reporters.
“The young boy was abducted and his body was thrown in the Kar-naphuli river,” he said.