Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-The Supreme Court of Bangladesh on Tuesday upheld the death penalty of condemned war criminal Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed, rejecting his plea for reviewing the capital punishment for his crimes against humanity during the country’s Liberation War in 1971.
Mujaheed, 67, had led a “death squad” named Al-Badr that worked as an auxiliary force for the Pakistani army during the Liberation War of the country.
The Jamaat assistant secretary general had led the systematic killing of intellectuals at the fag end of the 1971 war.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division of SC headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha on Tuesday dismissed the appeal petition of the Jamaat leader and upheld his capital punishment.
On July 17, 2013, the International Crimes Tribunal-2 sentenced Mujaheed to death for unleashing his ruthless Al-Badr militias on unarmed intellectuals including a top journalist to snuff out the dream of Bangladesh four decades ago.
He was found guilty on five out of seven charges brought against him by the prosecution.
He was given death penalty on two charges – for abetting and facilitating the killing of intellectuals and participating in and facilitating the murder of nine Hindu civilians in Faridpur.
Mujaheed was arrested on June 29 in 2010 in connection with hurting religious sentiments of Muslims.
The investigation agency, designated to probe war crimes, started investigation his alleged crimes during the war on July 21, 2010, and completed its probe in October, 2011.
Mujaheed, who was a top leader of Islami Chhatra Sangha, the student wing of Jamaat in 1971, was shown arrested in the war crimes case on August 2, 2010.
On June 21 in 2012, He was indicted on seven charges.
The tribunal was set up in 2010 by the current Awami League-led government to try alleged local collaborators of the Pakistani army during Bangladesh’s War of Independence.
Like many other Jamaat leaders he went into hiding soon after independence of Bangladesh, but resurfaced after Gen Ziaur Rahman came to power in a military coup in 1977.
He later became social welfare minister in the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led government from 2001-2006.
There is a range of estimates for the exact number of people killed in the nine-month War of Independence in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh government figures suggest as many as three million people died during the war.