Bangladesh tribunal: Islamist leader gets life

The International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) on Feb. 5 handed down its second verdict, sentencing Abdul Quader Mollah, leader of the Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), to life in prison. This sentence comes a week after televangelist Abul Kalam Azad, also known as "Bachchu Razakar," was sentenced to death. Both were indicted for crimes committed during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.

Bangladeshi officials established the ICTB in March 2010 to investigate and prosecute crimes committed in the Bangladesh Liberation War, during which officials estimate that Pakistani soldiers and local militia participated in more than three million killings and 200,000 rapes. Since then, the ICTB has been fraught with controversy and conflict. The tribunal originally included three high court judges and six investigators retired from law enforcement or the military, but Justice Mohammed Nizamul Huq resigned from his post in December.

In November 2011 the ICTB began its first trial against JI leader and former parliament member Delwar Hossain Sayeedee. He is charged with 20 violations of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act of 1973 (PDF) including genocide, arson, rape and torture.

From Jurist, Feb. 5. Used with permission.