Govt to set up another tribunal
The government is set to form another International Crimes Tribunal to speed up the trial of crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War in 1971.
“We will form another three-judge tribunal very soon for disposal of war crimes-related cases,” Law Minister Shafique Ahmed told The Daily Star yesterday.
The new tribunal will be housed at the Old High Court building in the capital, he said.
The Law Commission now has its office in that building.
“We have already started the process of shifting the office of the Law Commission to another place. We seek appointment of judges of the new tribunal immediately after arranging logistics and staffs for it," the minister said. He however did not specify when it will be formed.
Shafique mentioned that several cases relating to war crimes charges have been readied for hearing and disposal, and the present tribunal needs much time to dispose those cases.
The International Crimes Tribunal Act allows the government to form more than one tribunal for disposing war crimes cases.
Meanwhile, State Minister for Law Qamrul Islam said the government will appoint more prosecutors and investigators after constituting another tribunal.
The existing tribunal formed on March 25 last year has High Court Judge Md Nizamul Huq as its chairman. Its two other members are HC Judge ATM Fazle Kabir and retired district judge AKM Zaheer Ahmed.
The tribunal has already framed 20 specific war crimes charges against Jamaat-e Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee, and is now hearing deposition of prosecution witnesses in the case.
Besides, it has taken into congnisance charges of crimes against humanity committed by Jamaat top leaders Motiur Rahman Nizami, Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mojaheed, Muhammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Molla, and BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury. All the accused are now in custody.
On December 26, the tribunal will pass its order on whether to take into congnisance the war crimes charges against former Jamaat chief Ghulam Azam.