Follow recognised legal system: ASK
Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) yesterday called on the government to follow the recognised legal system during the BDR mutiny trial and allow lawyers assigned by the accused to defend their clients, says a press release.
Referring to Wednesday's newspaper reports, ASK said BDR personnel charged with mutiny would be allowed to appoint lawyers, but they (lawyers) would only provide counsel to the accused BDR members and not be able to take part in the arguments.
“ASK thinks this system will be a serious violation of the applicability of the existing law and it can be a serious impediment to the justice to BDR members,” it said.
It also said section 10(3) of BDR Act-1972 states any BDR member accused under the law can defend himself, by any officer or with the assistance of any lawyer.
The section does not mean that a lawyer assisting any accused will not be able to take part in argument to defend his or her client in the border force.
“Rather as per the recognised legal system and criminal procedure code, we know, a lawyer's assistance means his or her participation in arguments,” ASK said, adding that the law minister did not say clearly whether the trial would be held publicly.
The rights body said if the lawyers are not able to take part in arguments for their clients, it will be a clear violation to article 31 of the constitution.
It hoped that the government would show respect to the constitution and ensure transparent and impartial trial process for the accused BDR personnel.
Law Minister Shafique Ahmed on Wednesday said six separate courts would be constituted in six divisional headquarters to start BDR mutiny trial soon, the ASK release noted.
The government on September 15 decided to try the mutineers under the BDR Act and those charged with killings and looting under the penal code by speedy trial tribunal.