Bangladesh SC upholds Jamaat chief’s death sentence

Dhaka: Bangladesh’s Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the death sentence it handed down to chief of fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami Motiur Rahman Nizami over crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War with Pakistan.

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

“Rejected,” said the top judge about the final appeal of 72-year-old Nizami, who was convicted of murder, rape and orchestrating the killing of top intellectuals.

Today’s final verdict comes two days after the bench wrapped up hearing Nizami’s petition, seeking a review of the top court’s own previous judgment that had confirmed his death sentence.

The Supreme Court’s decision clears the final legal hurdle for the government to hang the Jamaat-e-Islami chief, who is now left with the only option to seek presidential mercy.

President Abdul Hamid, however, has earlier rejected two such prayers by 1971 war crimes convicts, including Nizami’s top aide then, who were subsequently executed late last year.