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Forty years later, Bangladesh leader jailed for war crimes

Ghulam Azam, a prominent Islamist and former leader of the Bangladesh opposition party, has been arrested for a series of crimes in the 1971 War of Independence and will remain in jail until his trial.

  • Bangladesh
  • January 12, 2012
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Bangladesh has arrested an Islamist leader on charges of masterminding war crimes during the 1971 liberation struggle against Pakistan, lawyers say. Prosecutors say that Ghulam Azam, 89, was detained after the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) rejected his bail application.

They accuse Mr Azam of crimes against humanity - including murder, rape, arson and looting - in 1971. He denies the charges, arguing that they are politically motivated.

Mr Azam, the former leader of the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party, is alleged to have created and led pro-Pakistan militias which carried out numerous murders and rapes during the nine-month war.

"He was the mastermind of all crimes against humanity during 1971," state prosecutor Syed Haider Ali told the AFP mews agency.

The ICT rejected the bail request made on health grounds by Mr Azam, a wheelchair user, and ordered him to remain in jail while awaiting trial, which is expected next year.

In November, another Jamaat-e-Islami leader, Delawar Hossain Sayedee, went on trial accused of crimes against humanity during the country's independence struggle. Mr Sayedee was the first of seven suspects set to face a tribunal on charges relating to the 1971 war.

Full Story: Bangladesh 'war crimes master mind' Gulam Azam arrested

Source: BBC News
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