Bangladesh‘s supreme court has sentenced an Islamist leader to death for war crimes during the country’s 1971 war of independence, rejecting an earlier life sentence imposed by a tribunal.

The tribunal found Abdul Quader Mollah, assistant secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, guilty on 5 February of murder, rape and torture.

The life sentence imposed at the time triggered protests by people hoping he would get the death penalty.

In response, Bangladesh’s parliament amended a law to allow the state to appeal against any decision of the war crimes tribunal that was deemed inadequate.

Mollah’s party, the Jamaat, opposed Bangladeshi independence from Pakistan in the 1971 war but it denies accusations that some of its leaders committed murder, rape and torture during the conflict.

More than 100 people have been killed in protests and counter-protests since January, when the tribunal set up by the government delivered its first verdict.

source: Guardian UK