1971 war criminals to be brought to justice: Hasina

Last Updated: Friday, July 23, 2010 - 23:17

Dhaka: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina on Friday said that the process of bringing to justice the
1971 war criminals has started as three cases were referred to
a special tribunal set up to try the war crimes.

"They will definitely be tried on the soil of
Bangladesh," Hasina said at a public rally at southwestern
Satkhira district where she also asked people to stand by her
government in its initiative to try the "1971 culprits".

Hasina`s comments came two days after three 1971 war
crimes related cases filed earlier with lower courts were
referred to the Special Tribunal set up four months ago under
the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973 alongside a
special investigation agency and prosecution cell.

An official of the tribunal told the state-run BSS
news agency that three cases filed with different police
stations in Dhaka at different times were referred by the
lower courts to the Special Tribunal to be investigated by a
special investigation agency with assistance of a prosecution
panel which was set up along with the tribunal under the same
act in March this year.

"The cases on 1971 crimes filed with different police
stations and courts across the country, will eventually be
tried in the tribunal... the investigation of these cases was
beyond police jurisdiction," the prosecution panel chief Golam
Arif Tipu said.

He said that of the three cases, two were lodged
earlier against four top leaders fundamentalist
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) party including its chief Motiur Rahman
Nizami who allegedly led the notorious Al-Badr force which is
believed to have slaughtered a number of Bengali intellectuals
including university professors during the 1971.

Jamaat is widely castigated for opposing Bangladesh`s
1971 Liberation war siding with the then Pakistani military
junta.

The BSS report said security of the special tribunal
and offices of the special investigation agency and the
prosecution panel, all housed at the old High Court complex at
central Dhaka, was tightened.

A deputy register of the tribunal said adequate
logistic supports were ensured as the investigation agency
started its probe process.

The development came amid growing demands for quick
action against the perpetrators.

Meanwhile, the vice chancellors of all public
universities including specialised technical ones are set to
join a hour-long "solidarity human chain" for holding the
trial of war criminals tomorrow.

PTI



First Published: Friday, July 23, 2010 - 23:17

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