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B`desh tribunal wraps up Jamaat chief`s trial for war crimes

PTI | Last Updated: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 15:42

Dhaka: A special Bangladeshi tribunal today wrapped up the trial of fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami chief Matiur Rahman Nizami for 1971 war crimes and the verdict is now expected any day.
"Let the case record be kept at CAV (Curia Advisari Vult)," pronounced chairman of the International Crimes Tribunal 1 Justice A T M Fazle Kabir using a Latin legal term meaning the verdict would be delivered anytime.

The charges against the 69-year-old radical leader include involvement in murders and torture of unarmed people, hatching conspiracy, planning, incitement and complicity to commit genocide and crimes against humanity during the war.

The court however said the defence counsel could submit their missing points in writing within the next five days as they concluded their arguments on the last day of hearing today.

Nizami`s counsels concluded their arguments claiming "innocence" of their client while the prosecution accused him of carrying out atrocities in 1971 as the chief of the notorious Al Badr secret killing force that was allied with the Pakistani troops.

If convicted, Nizami, the Ameer of the Jamaat, which was opposed to Bangladesh`s independence, could be sent to the gallows.

One of the major charges against Nizami was systematic elimination of leading intelligentsia just two days before Bangladesh`s victory in the war on December 16, 1971.

The judgment is expected to end a major phase of the trial of crimes against humanity during the war as Nizami is the last high-profile accused to face justice on war crimes charges.

The tribunal indicted Nizami on 16 counts of crimes against humanity on May 28, 2012, two years after his arrest on charges of hurting religious sentiments.

First Published: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 15:42

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