Bangladesh Islamist party leader sentenced to death for war crimes
Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, believed to be the second-most important leader of Bangladesh's largest Islamist party, was sentenced to death in capital Dhaka Thursday for war crimes including mass killings.
The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)-1 pronounced the verdict Thursday afternoon on a crimes against humanity case, awarding death sentence to the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islmai party's Nayeb-e-Ameer
(vice-president) Sayeedi, also a former member of parliament.
Chief Justice of the ICT-1 ATM Fazle Kabir read the summary of the 120-page verdict at a jam-packed court room in the presence of a huge crowd of people particularly journalists and lawyers amid beefed up security measures in and around the tribunal and across the capital city, specially at key points.
Bangladeshi Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told reporters that "Eight charges including murder against Sayeedi were proved beyond a reasonable doubt leading to a death sentence to the leader of Jamaat."
Jamaat, allegedly collaborated with Pakistani forces in 1971 to prevent an independent Bangladesh, says Sayeedi is the victim of a political vendetta.
More than four decades after Bangladesh's independence, ICT-2 on Jan.
21 pronounced its maiden verdict on crimes against humanity case awarding death sentence to the fugitive and expelled Jamaat leader Abul Kalam Azad.
Later the tribunal on Feb. 5 pronounced verdict on a crimes against humanity case awarding life imprisonment to Assistant Secretary General of Jamaat Abdul Quader Mollah.
Jamaat, which has long been demonstrating against the efforts of the government to try war criminals, had enforced a series of hartals demanding the release of nine of its top high-ups, including its spiritual leader Ghulam Azam.
Apart from Jamaat high-ups, a few leaders of ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) are also facing trials.