Bangladesh Islamist party chief loses last legal battle

Dhaka, May 5 (IANS) Bangladesh’s apex court on Thursday threw out a last-ditch appeal by Motiur Rahman Nizami, a war criminal and chief of the country’s largest Islamist party, seeking a review of the death penalty awarded to him for war crimes in 1971.

The Supreme Court’s decision clears the final legal hurdle for the government to hang the Jamaat-e-Islami chief for directing rapes, mass murders and massacre of intellectuals to stop Bangladesh emerging out of Pakistan as an independent nation, bdnews24 reported, quoting sources.

The four-strong Appellate Division bench headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha pronounced the single-word judgment.

The top judge took his seat and only uttered the word “dismissed”.

The Supreme Court on January 6 upheld a death penalty for the 73-year-old Nizami.

Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal-1 issued Nizami’s death warrant on March 16, hours after the court released its full verdict.

On March 29, he filed an appeal with the court against his death sentence.

However, he still has the option of seeking the president’s mercy.

Nizami, who served as agriculture and industries minister in former prime minister Khaleda Zia’s 2001-2006 cabinet, is among the top Jamaat leaders who have been tried in two war crimes tribunals.

Two Jamaat leaders, Abdul Quader Molla and Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, have been executed.

–IANS

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