12:00 AM, January 22, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 22, 2013

BNP wants trial but fair one

Jamaat says trial process illegal; 14-party happy

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Staff Correspondent

Hours after the delivery of the first verdict in a war-crimes case, BNP Coordinator Tariqul Islam said the main opposition completely supported the ongoing trial at the international crimes tribunals.
Claiming that the party is a "pro-liberation war" force, he said, "We hope the trial would be neutral and would conform to international standards."
Tariqul was addressing a discussion marking party founder Ziaur Rahman's 77th birth anniversary in the capital.
"We also want that no question be raised regarding the trial process and that there is no political agenda behind the trial."
The BNP senior policymaker at the same time demanded that the government try members of Rakkhi Bahini, who according to him killed as many as 40,000 freedom fighters soon after the 1971 Liberation War.
Another BNP top policymaker Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman said that he and his party hate those who committed crimes against humanity and that he must respect yesterday's verdict if the trial process was transparent.
The Jamaat-e-Islami, a key partner of the BNP-led 18-party alliance, however, rejected the verdict. Its nine leaders are now behind bars on charges of committing war crimes.
Talking to the BBC Bangla Service, Shafiqul Islam Masud, a city unit Jamaat leader, said the trial process was illegal.
"Therefore, today's [yesterday] verdict is also illegal and immoral."
Jatiya Party Presidium Member Anisul Islam Mahmud said his party welcomed the historic verdict delivered by the International Crimes Tribunal-2.
"This [verdict] is like a victory. We hope the judgments in the remaining cases [against accused war criminals] will be delivered soon."
The Awami League-led 14-party alliance, Awami Jubo League and various other socio-economic and cultural organisations were triumphant about the verdict.
Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif said the accused of war crimes would be traced wherever they might have been holed up -- at home or abroad -- and would be brought to justice.

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