BANGLADESH: DEATH SENTENCE UPHELD FOR TOP ISLAMIST LEADER
January 6, 2016: Bangladesh's top court upheld the death sentence on the leader of the largest Islamist party for crimes during the country's 1971 independence struggle, paving the way for his execution within months.
The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by Motiur Rahman Nizami, head of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, who was convicted of murder, rape and orchestrating the killing of top intellectuals when he was a militia leader during the conflict.
"The court upheld the death sentence in three out of four charges. We're very happy," prosecutor Tureen Afroz told reporters.
"Most importantly, the death penalty was upheld for the killings of the intellectuals."
Nizami, 72, Jamaat's leader since 2000 and a minister in a former Islamist-allied government of 2001-2006, faces the gallows within months unless his case is reviewed by the same court or he is granted clemency by the president.
Three senior Jamaat officials and a key leader of the main opposition party have been executed since December 2013 for war crimes, despite global criticism of their trials by a controversial war crimes tribunal. (Sources: AFP, 06/01/2016)