Dhaka: Bangladesh's fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami-linked leader and media tycoon Mir Quasem Ali on death row on Friday refused to seek presidential clemency over war crimes, paving the way for his execution any time now.
The 64-year-old, who is the infamous pro-Pakistan Al-Badr militia's third most important figure, decided against the last option to avoid the gallows, Prashanta Kumar Banik, senior jail superintendent, told The Daily Star.
Ali was conveyed the verdict on Wednesday, a day after the Supreme Court upheld an earlier ruling that had handed down a death sentence, following which he had sought time to decide over seeking the clemency.
Nine of his family members, including his wife Khandakar Ayesha Khatun, met him in jail that day. Quasem, widely considered as the top financier of Jamaat, said he would not decide what to do next until his son, allegedly picked up by unidentified men 22 days ago, returns home, Ayesha told reporters.
Prosecutors have said that Ali made a USD 25 million deal with US lobby firm Cassidy and Associates for engaging with the governments of the US and Bangladesh to protect "his interest".
The evidence suggested that in March, 2014, another deal worth of USD 50,000 was struck with the same lobby firm on Ali's behalf for "condemning" the actions of the International Crimes Tribunal-Bangladesh.
Several political analysts and lawyers said the business tycoon and Jamaat stalwart has exhausted all efforts to influence his trial on charges of committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
As a young leader of Jamaat's the then student wing Islami Chhatra Sangha (ICS) in 1971, Ali generated panic in public mind and earned curse of innocent people by his ruthless and brutal activities to mime the liberation aspirants.