War crimes charges accepted | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 10, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 10, 2012

Ghulam Azam, Nizami

War crimes charges accepted

Warrant if Azam does not appear in court tomorrow


The International Crimes Tribunal yesterday accepted formal charges against former Jamaat ameer Ghulam Azam and its present Chief Motiur Rahman Nizami for their alleged involvement in crimes against humanity during the Liberation War.
The tribunal directed Ghulam's chief counsel barrister Abdur Razzaq to produce the ex-Jamaat-e-Islami ameer before it by 10:30am tomorrow, or it will issue an arrest warrant against him. It also fixed February 12 for thehearing on charge framing against Nizami.
The two Jamaat leaders have been charged with involvement in genocide, rape and arson during the Liberation War, the prosecutors said.
The prosecution on January 5 submitted to the tribunal 62 charges of crimes against humanity against Ghulam Azam. On December 11 last year, the prosecution submitted at least 15 charges of crimes against humanity against Nizami.
The tribunal said it had examined the formal charges, probe reports and documents submitted by the prosecution, and primarily found proof that Ghulam and Nizami committed crimes against humanity in 1971.
It asked the prosecution to submit copies of formal charges against Ghulam to the registrar's office tomorrow for making the papers available to his lawyers.
The tribunal, headed by Justice Nizamul Huq, rejected a petition from Ghulam Azam who sought dismissal of the charges against him. It asked Abdur Razzaq whether he could produce Ghulam Azam before the court.
Razzaq told the court that he could produce Ghulam before the court after a day or two, as his elderly client needs time for preparation to appear before the tribunal.
On December 26 last year, the tribunal sent back to the prosecution formal charges against Ghulam Azam, since the charges brought against him were not classified and organised properly.
The court yesterday asked the prosecution to turn in copies of formal charges against Nizami to the registrar's office by January 12 so that the defence lawyers could collect those by January 15.
The orders came after the tribunal took into cognisance formal charges against Nizami, who is now in jail custody.
Following the court orders, prosecutor Zead Al Malum told reporters that Ghulam, the then ameer of East Pakistan Jamaat-e Islami, along with Kamaruzzaman, Mir Kashem Ali and others had formed Shanti Committee, and Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams Bahinis that collaborated with the Pakistan occupation forces.
He had instigated killings of intellectuals, rape, torture, looting and other offences during the Liberation War. Nizami was also involved in similar offences, said the prosecutor.
The prosecutor said they had found that Ghulam and Nizami were involved in a number of crimes that were classified in five categories.
Abdur Razzaq said he was happy with the tribunal's order that gave him time to produce Ghulam before the court.
Nizami was present at the tribunal during the legal proceedings against him.
Meanwhile, Ghulam Azam told private TV Channel NTV, “If there is a case [against you], you have to be present at the court. I am happy that I got the opportunity to appear before the court without the hassle of arrest… I will go to the court.”

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