War crimes charges pressed against 3
The prosecution yesterday submitted formal war crimes charges crimes against Jamaat-e-Islami leaders Motiur Rahman Nizami, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed and Muhammad Kamaruzzaman to the International Crimes Tribunal.
Charges against Jamaat Ameer Nizami include genocide, rape, torture, abduction and confinement of Bangalee people in Pabna and other regions, and abetment of and attempt or conspiracy to perform such acts during the country's 1971 Liberation War, said prosecutor Zead Al Malum.
Mojaheed, secretary general of the party, has been charged with similar crimes committed in greater Faridpur, he added.
Kamaruzzaman, who is the assistant secretary general of Jamaat, faces charges of crimes against humanity. His areas of operation were Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Tangail and Sherpur, Malum said.
"Kamaruzzaman was the chief coordinator of Al Badr [an auxiliary force of the Pakistani occupational army] during the war," he told The Daily Star.
Prosecutors, however, would not elaborate the charges brought against the Jamaat trio, who are now behind bars on charges of war crimes.
The three-member tribunal fixed December 18 for taking the charges into cognisance.
It also directed the prosecution to submit formal charges against Abdul Quader Molla, assistant secretary general of Jamaat, before it on the same day.
The four Jamaat leaders were present during the proceedings.
Earlier, investigators in their report submitted to the prosecutors brought 20 specific charges against Nizami, 12 charges against Mojaheed and eight charges against Kamaruzzaman.
The charges included crimes against humanity, genocide and attempt, abetment of and attempt or conspiracy to commit any such crimes and complicity in or failure to prevent commission of any such crimes.
Under the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973, such offences carry a maximum sentence of death.
The tribunal earlier framed charges against Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee and took charges against BNP leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury into cognisance.
At present, five Jamaat and two BNP leaders including Salauddin Quader Chowdhury face war crimes charges.
While Salauddin is in jail, the other BNP leader Abdul Aleem is on bail due to illness.
In October, investigators had submitted a 411-page probe report on Nizami, 366 pages on Mojaheed, 327 pages on Kamaruzzaman and a 385-page report on Quader Molla.
During the country's nine-month Liberation War, Jamaat had collaborated with the Pakistani forces.
About 30 million Bangalees were killed and about 2 million Bangalee women were violated by the Pakistani forces and their collaborators.