Fugitive Muslim leader based in Britain sentenced to death in Bangladesh over war crimes

Muslim leader based in UK sentenced to death in Bangladesh

Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin (left) with the Prince of Wales during a visit to the Markfield Islamic Foundation, Leicestershire, in 2003 (Picture: PA)

A Muslim leader based in Britain has been sentenced to death for war crimes after a ‘farcical’ trial in Bangladesh.

Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin was convicted in his absence of abducting and murdering 18 intellectuals during the country’s fight for independence.

His lawyer Toby Cadman said the claims against the former journalist – who opposed the break from Pakistan in 1971 – were ‘not credible’.

There was clear evidence that judges and prosecutors had colluded with the government, he said, adding: ‘The trial process has been shown to be nothing short of a political show trial.’

Mr Mueen-Uddin, who lives in London, is unlikely to face extradition because the British government does not send people to face the death penalty.

But Mr Cadman said the international community needed to ‘wake up’ to the threat posed to others convicted by Bangladesh’s war crimes tribunal.

Leading international lawyers have previously asked foreign secretary William Hague to intervene amid concerns over the court’s processes.

Mr Mueen- Uddin, who helped set up the Muslim Council of Britain, did not comment on his conviction for killing nine teachers, six journalists and three doctors.

But when he was ordered to appear at the tribunal in May, he said he denied all the charges and would not travel to face proceedings that would be ‘neither open nor fair’.

The war crimes tribunal was set up in 2010 by prime minister Sheikh Hasina, who has been accused of using it to attack political opponents.

During the 1971 war, Mr Mueen-Uddin was a member of a party allied to today’s opposition. He said in May: ‘Getting involved in crimes is not what I have taken part in in any way, shape or form.’

Source: Metro