7 charges framed
International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday framed seven specific charges against five suspected Razakars for their alleged involvement in crimes against humanity committed in Kishoreganj during the 1971 Liberation War.
The charges include mass killing, murder, confinement, torture, arson and looting.
The three-member tribunal led by Justice Anwarul Haque framed the charges after finding “prima facie evidence” (accepted as correct until proven otherwise) of their involvement in the crimes narrated in the prosecution's formal charges.
Gazi Abdul Mannan, 88, is the alleged commander of Karimganj Razakar camp, while Nasiruddin Ahmed, 62, and his brother Shamsuddin Ahmed, 60, Hafiz Uddin, 66, and Azharul Islam, 60, are alleged Razakar members, all from Kishoreganj's Karimganj upazila.
Only Shamsuddin was produced before the tribunal. “I was falsely implicated,” said Shamsuddin, pleading not guilty when Justice Anwarul Haque asked him what he pleaded. The four others are on the run. The tribunal also fixed November 4 for recording the prosecution's opening statement and to start recording prosecution witnesses' testimonies. It asked the prosecution to supply all documents, which they intend to rely upon, to the defence counsel within November 4 and the latter to submit to it the list of defence witness, if they have any, by that date. The prosecution pressed the seven charges on May 10. The charges are: killing of eight people and injuring of another of four villages on November 12; killing of Miah Hossain of Aila village on November 13; abduction and killing of Abdur Gafur of Kalatali on September 26; abduction, torture and killing of Fazlur Rahman of Atkapara on August 23; killing of Paresh Chandra Sarkar of Ramnagar on September 7; torture and killing of Abu Bakar Siddique and Rapali Miah on August 25; and arson and vandalism in Atkapara on September 15.
Meanwhile, the tribunal granted a prosecution's petition allowing the investigators to interrogate five war crimes accused from Patuakhali at its Dhanmondi safe home.
Prosecutor Rezia Sultana Chaman said each person needs to be interrogated for one day separately. The accused are Esahaq Shikder, Abdul Goni Hawlader, Md Awal alias Awal Moulavi, Abdus Sattar Pyada and Solaiman Mridha of Patuakhali sadar upazila. The tribunal showed them arrested in the war crimes case on October 1. They were arrested earlier in another criminal case.