Is­lamist party’s top fi­nancier hanged

The Myanmar Times - - World -

Siang said Mr Na­jib must im­me­di­ately sub­mit to jus­tice to avoid fur­ther harm­ing Malaysia’s im­age.

“The Prime Min­is­ter .... [must] purge and cleanse Malaysia’s rep­u­ta­tion as a global klep­toc­racy,” he said in a state­ment.

An­a­lysts warn the scan­dal could harm for­eign in­vest­ment in Malaysia, but Mr Na­jib has re­fused to give way and in­sists that he is in­no­cent.

Po­lit­i­cal ex­perts see no sign yet that he will be ousted be­fore the next elec­tions, due by mid-2018, due to his long-rul­ing coali­tion’s firm con­trol over the coun­try. – BANGLADESH has ex­e­cuted a ty­coon and top fi­nancier for the largest Is­lamist party for war crimes, deal­ing a ma­jor blow to its am­bi­tions in the trou­bled Mus­lim­ma­jor­ity coun­try.

Mir Quasem Ali, a key leader of Ja­maat-e-Is­lami, was hanged late on Septem­ber 3 af­ter be­ing con­victed by a war crimes tri­bunal of mur­der and ab­duc­tion dur­ing the 1971 in­de­pen­dence con­flict with Pak­istan.

He was hanged at a high-se­cu­rity jail in Gazipur north of the cap­i­tal. His body was taken to his an­ces­tral vil­lage in the central district of Manikganj, flanked by po­lice, for burial yes­ter­day.

Mr Ali is the fifth prom­i­nent Ja­maat leader to have been ex­e­cuted for war crimes fol­low­ing their tri­als at the tri­bunal set up by Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Hasina’s sec­u­lar gov­ern­ment in 2010.

The 63-year-old’s death is a ma­jor set­back for the party which he had helped re­vive by set­ting up char­i­ties, busi­nesses and trusts linked to it af­ter it was al­lowed to op­er­ate in the late 1970s.

Se­cu­rity was tight be­fore his ex­e­cu­tion, even though the party has in re­cent months es­chewed vi­o­lent protests in re­ac­tion to war crimes ver­dicts and there was no im­me­di­ate sign of un­rest.

The tri­bunal has di­vided the coun­try, with sup­port­ers of Ja­maat and the main op­po­si­tion Bangladesh Na­tion­al­ist Party (BNP) brand­ing the tri­als a sham aimed at elim­i­nat­ing their lead­ers.

The hang­ing comes as the coun­try reels from a rise in mil­i­tant at­tacks in­clud­ing a siege at an up­scale cafe in Dhaka in July that killed 22 peo­ple mostly for­eign­ers.

Ja­maat, which is banned from con­test­ing elec­tions, called a na­tion­wide strike for to­day, say­ing Mr Ali was “mur­dered” for play­ing a “key role in the Is­lamic move­ment” in Bangladesh.

Pros­e­cu­tors said Mr Ali was a key com­man­der of a no­to­ri­ous proPak­istan mili­tia in the south­ern port city of Chit­tagong dur­ing the war, and later be­came a ship­ping, bank­ing and real es­tate ty­coon.

Be­fore he was ar­rested in 2012, Mr Ali headed a cor­po­ra­tion which owns a pro-Ja­maat daily and a tele­vi­sion sta­tion that was shut down in 2013 for fu­elling reli­gious ten­sions.

He was con­victed in Novem­ber 2014 of a se­ries of war crimes in­clud­ing the ab­duc­tion and mur­der of a young in­de­pen­dence fighter.

Ms Hasina’s gov­ern­ment has de­fended the tri­als, say­ing they are needed to heal the wounds of the con­flict. –

Photo: EPA

Bangladeshi se­cu­rity per­son­nel stand guard at the en­trance of Kashim­pur Central Jail as rel­a­tives of jailed Bangladeshi leader of Ja­maat-e-Is­lam Mir Quasem Ali (not pictured) ar­rive to visit him be­fore his ex­e­cu­tion at Kashim­pur Central Jail, Gazipur, Bangladesh, on Septem­ber 3.

Photo: EPA

Na­jib Ab­dul Razak re­mains in con­trol de­spite the al­le­ga­tions.

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