The Supreme Court of Bangladesh on Tuesday upheld the death sentence of Mir Quasem Ali, who was convicted for crimes he committed during the 1971 Liberation War. The Jamaat-e-Islami party leader had filed a petition seeking a review of his death penalty. Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said it was only a "matter of time" before he was executed, unless he appealed for presidential pardon, Reuters reported.
The 64-year-old was convicted for murder, torture, confinement and provoking religious hatred during the independence war with Pakistan. Quasem was sentenced to death in November 2014 by the war crimes tribunal set up by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010. His family had called the ruling a "judicial killing", according to Dhaka Tribune. Security has been heightened in Dhaka as previous verdicts related to the war criminal had triggered violent protests.
Quasem played a crucial role in setting up the pro-Pakistan al-Badr force in Chittagong during the war. He established a number of torture camps in the city, including in Daleem Hotel in the Andorkilla neighbourhood.
The verdict was pronounced by a five-member panel headed by Chief Justice of Bangladesh Surendra Kumar Sinha. The Appellate Division, which had upheld the sentence in March as well, had heard Quasem's plea on August 24 and 28.