Bangladesh has executed a wealthy tycoon and top financial backer of its largest opposition party after his family paid him a final visit.
Mir Quasem Ali, a key leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was hanged on Saturday after being convicted by a controversial war crimes tribunal for offences committed during the 1971 independence conflict with Pakistan.
“The execution took place at 10:35 pm (1635GMT),” said Anisul Huq, the country’s law and justice minister.
Ali had been imprisoned at the Kashimpur high security jail in Gazipur, some 40 km north of the capital Dhaka.
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.
Ali was a key commander of the pro-Pakistan militia in the southern port city of Chittagong during the 1971 war, and later became a shipping and real estate tycoon.
Past convictions and executions of high-profile Jamaat leaders have triggered violence in Bangladesh, which is polarised along political lines.
Russel Sheikh, a senior Gazipur police official, told the AFP news agency that officials took “highest security measures” ahead of the execution for fear of violence by his supporters.
“More than 1,000 police have been deployed in the district,” Sheikh said.