One of Britain's most important Muslim leaders, who has a senior position in the country's National Health Service (NHS), is being charged with 18 murders by a war crimes tribunal in his native Bangladesh, investigators said.

Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, who is the director of Muslim Spiritual Care Provision in the NHS and is also the chairman of the Multi-Faith Group for Healthcare Chaplaincy, is accused of abducting, torturing and killing 18 journalists, academics and doctors during the bloody war of independence in Bangladesh in 1971.

Mueen-Uddin, 63, who strongly denies the allegations, is believed to have fled to Bangladesh shortly after the war ended, and has been living in London since the early 70s.

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