Bangladesh tribunal sentences 2 to death for 1971 war crimes
Dhaka, Nov. 5 (PTI): A special Bangladesh tribunal on Monday handed down death sentences to two persons, including a former leader of the ruling Awami League, for crimes against humanity during the 1971 liberation war and for aiding Pakistani troops.
“They will be hanged by neck until they are dead,” pronounced the chair of the three-judge International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh (ICT-BD) Mohammad Shahinur Islam after the trial of both convicts who are on the run.
Both convicts, in their early 60s, are absconding.
Islam said all charges brought against the convicts were proved beyond doubt that warranted the death penalty. Prosecution lawyers had accused them of murdering some 100 people, mostly minority Hindus, in their neighbourhood while siding with Pakistani enemy troops.
They were defended by state-appointed counsels during their trial in absentia and of the two Liakat Ali was president of the Awami League’s Lakhai sub-district in northeastern Kishorganj.
Ali is the second war crimes convict who managed to become a member of the Awami League, the party which led the 1971 Liberation War, by hiding his past role.
He was eventually identified as a war criminal as the government initiated the process to try the Bangladeshi collaborators who aided Pakistani troops in committing genocide during the war.
Fifty-three people, mostly leaders of fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami which opposed Bangladesh’s independence, have been sentenced to death for their acts during the war while some of the convicts were from the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
Seven war criminals have been hanged so far after the Supreme Court upheld the tribunal’s judgments while the rest of the cases are pending with the apex court even as five of the convicts have died of natural causes by now.