Bangladesh`s 1971 war crime suspect freed on bail

Last Updated: Friday, April 1, 2011 - 19:56

Dhaka: A former Bangladeshi lawmaker
arrested on charges of crimes against humanity during the
country`s 1971 `Liberation War` was freed on bail on Friday, a day
after a special tribunal ordered his release on health
grounds.

Abdul Alim, 80, who was a cabinet minister in the
government of former president Ziaur Rahman, has been
"released on bail" on orders of the International Crimes
Tribunal, an official of Dhaka Central Jail said to a news agency.

He said Alim`s release came a day after the order was
issued as the tribunal`s directive came late in the afternoon,
a time when no prisoner or under trial prisoner could be freed
under the Jail Code.

Under the court order, Alim would stay at his son`s
house at posh Banani area of the capital. He is not allowed
contact any politician, political parties or the victims and
witnesses in the case, prosecution lawyers have said.

"The suspect will also not issue any media statement,
use telephones and must not come out of the house without the
tribunal`s permission and appear before the court whenever
ordered," prosecution lawyer Syed Rezaur Rahman said quoting
the bail order of the three-member tribunal headed by Justice
Nizamul Huq.

Alim was arrested from his home in northwestern
Joypurhat after the tribunal issued a warrant against him.

Television footage and witnesses said Alim appeared in
court in a wheelchair with the help of aides and policemen.

Alim`s arrest came as prosecution lawyer filed a
petition on March 23 saying he had masterminded the killing of
more than 10,000 innocent people siding with the Pakistani
troops in 1971.

Bangladesh last year constituted a high-powered
three-member International Crimes Tribunal headed by a High
Court judge along with a special investigation agency and a
prosecution cell in line with the election pledges of Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina`s ruling Awami League to bring the war
criminals to justice.

So far six high-profile suspects are in jail to face
the charges of crimes against humanity while the lone detainee
beyond the Jamaat leaders is Salahuddin Qader Chowdhury, a
stalwart of ex-premier Khaleda Zia`s main opposition
Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

PTI



First Published: Friday, April 1, 2011 - 19:56

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