Tribunal to seek top B'desh Jamaat leader’s arrest

Dhaka: Bangladeshi authorities will seek the arrest of a top leader of the country's largest Islamist party for "crimes against humanity" during the country's 1971 'Liberation War' against Pakistan.

“We have completed the investigations and will hand over our report to the prosecution cell of the (International Crimes) Tribunal on seek arrest of Ghulam Azam," Abdul Hannan, the coordinator of the investigation agency, told reporters on Monday.

The demand for the arrest of Azam, the former Jamaat-e-Islami chief and ex-provincial minister under the then Pakistani junta, comes as investigators found "sufficient proof" against Azam and four other detained Jamaat leaders.

Hannan said the investigators prepared the final reports on the investigation into allegations against the five as they gathered sufficient evidence against them.

Azam was the chief of the East Pakistan unit of the Jamaat, which violently opposed the Liberation War and sided with the Pakistani troops.

Jamaat's incumbent chief Motiur Rahman Nizami, Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and assistant secretaries general Muhammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Molla were arrested last year.

Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, the leader of the Jamaat, a key ally of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, has been charged with atrocities including genocide, rape and religious persecution by a three-member International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) set up last year by the ruling Awami League-led government to investigate those accused of war crimes committed during the nine-month bloody conflict.