DHAKA (AFP) – Bangladesh’s war crimes tribunal on Tuesday sentenced a fugitive former lawmaker to life in prison for genocide and religious persecution of the country’s Hindu minority during the 1971 independence war, the prosecutor said.
The 82-year-old Abdul Jabbar, a member of parliament in the 1980s for the government-aligned Jatiya Party, was tried in absentia, as he is thought to have fled to the United States.
Enayetur Rahim, a war crimes tribunal judge, sentenced Jabbar to life in prison after finding him guilty of five charges of atrocities committed during the nine-month war against Pakistan, the prosecutor said.
“He was found guilty of all five charges including genocide, murder, arson and religious persecution,” Zahid Imam told AFP.
“He was involved in murdering 36 people and forcibly converted 200 Hindus to Islam.”
Jabbar is the 18th person convicted by the International Crimes Tribunal, a domestic court set up by the government.
Prosecutors said Jabbar was the head of a pro-Pakistani militia in the coastal town of Mathbaria and collaborated with the Pakistan army during the conflict when then-East Pakistan seceded from Islamabad.