Quasem Ali, Bangladesh wealthy tycoon and top financial backer of its largest Islamist party was hanged late Saturday for war crimes, dealing a massive blow to the group’s ambitions in the Muslim-majority nation.
Mir Quasem Ali, a key leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was executed after being convicted by a controversial war crimes tribunal for offences committed during the 1971 independence conflict with Pakistan.
The 63-year-old was hanged at the Kashimpur high security jail in Gazipur, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Dhaka, amid stepped-up security outside the prison and in the capital.
“The execution took place at 10:35pm (1635 GMT),” the country’s law and justice minister Anisul Huq told AFP.
Six opposition leaders have now been executed for war crimes after the secular government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina set up a domestic war crimes tribunal in 2010.
With Ali’s death, all five top leaders of the Jamaat party have been hanged, a massive set back for the Islamists in the world’s third largest Muslim nation.
After the Supreme Court rejected his final appeal against the penalty on Tuesday, Ali declined to seek a presidential pardon, which would require an admission of guilt, paving the way for his execution.
Prosecutors said Ali was a key commander of the notorious pro-Pakistan militia in the southern port city of Chittagong during the war, and later became a shipping, banking and real estate tycoon.
The war crimes trials have divided the country.

Mir Quasem Ali
Mir Quasem Ali

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