Bangladesh to start trial of war criminals soon

Dhaka: Bangladesh would start the much-awaited trial of 'war criminals' of the 1971 liberation movement by early next year, a top government official has said.

"I can tell you that the process of the trial of the war criminals would start either in the end of January or in the beginning of February," Bangladesh Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said.

Those who killed millions and eliminated the best Bangali brains at the behest of the then East Pakistan authorities during the 1971 Liberation War are called 'war criminals' in Bangladesh.

"The first step to start the trial process would be formation of an investigation agency. It will be announced by the end of January or beginning of February and then a prosecution team and a three-member tribunal would be formed and announced immediately," The Daily Star has quoted Ahmed as saying.

His comments in this regard came on the eve of the country's '38th Martyred Intellectuals Day' yesterday and against the backdrop of criticism for dillydallying policy to begin the trial.

Meanwhile, the newspaper quoting a highly placed source in the government said the trial process would start after execution of the convicted killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Home Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder, in the meantime, told the newspaper that "the trial process would start soon" without giving any possible timeframe.