Dhaka: A special tribunal in Bangladesh on Wednesday handed down death penalty to one person and imprisonment until death to his two brothers for committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War by siding with Pakistani troops.
Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal (ICT-BD) announced the verdicts to the convicts, all in their late 60s, who faced the trial in person after they were arrested earlier this year.
"He (Mohibur Rahman Boro Mia) will be hanged by neck until he is dead," pronounced chairman of the three-member ICT-BD panel of judges Justice Anwarul Haque.
The verdict also ordered imprisonments until death for Mohibur's younger brother Mozibur Rahman Angur Miah and paternal cousin Abdur Razzak for carrying our atrocities at their neighbourhood in northeastern Habiganj raising a gang of paramilitary "razakar force" siding with the Pakistani troops.
The judgment came 21 days after the tribunal wrapped up the hearing of the case but held the verdict, which can be challenge in the Supreme Court.
On 10 May, chief of Bangladesh's biggest Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami Motiur Rahman Nizami was hanged as the last remaining top perpetrator of crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War against Pakistan.
Bangladesh has so far executed four war crimes convicts since the process began to try the top Bengali perpetrators of 1971 atrocities in line with the electoral commitment of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2008.
Two others – 1971-time Jamaat chief Ghulam Azam and ex-BNP minister Abdul Alim - were earlier handed down "imprisonment until death" penalty instead of capital punishment on grounds of their old age as they had exceeded 80. They subsequently died in the prison cells of a specialised state-run hospital due to old age ailments.
The Supreme Court until now disposed eight cases of war crimes trial in the appeal process against ICT-BD verdicts while several of the convicts facing death penalties have fled the country to evade justice.
In one of the cases, the Apex Court enhanced the life imprisonment of one of the convicts, Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah, to death penalty, finding the tribunal verdict too lenient and in another case, reduced the death sentence of another Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, ordering imprisonment until death.