1971 war criminals to be brought to justice: Hasina



1971 war criminals to be brought to justice: Hasina 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