BNP leader Alim gets fresh conditional bail
The International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday granted fresh conditional bail to former BNP lawmaker Abdul Alim in connection with crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War.
The tribunal, the second of two set up to deal with the war crimes, passed the order on "medical ground" following a petition.
Alim, who is facing 74 counts of crimes against humanity in 28 incidents during the Liberation War of 1971, was arrested on March 27, 2011 and has been on conditional bail since March 31 last year.
As the Tribunal-1 transferred Alim's case to the Tribunal-2 for quick disposal on April 16, the defence were directed to submit a fresh petition for bail.
The defence filed the petition on April 26 and appealed that the tribunal considered their client's physical condition and old age.
As yesterday's proceedings started at 10:30am, defence counsel Tajul Islam told the tribunal that Alim, at 82, has been suffering from various diseases and surgical intervention is needed as soon as possible.
Besides, Alim did not misuse the privilege of the bail conditions and it is impossible for him to influence the investigation as he did not take part in any political and social activities in last couple of years.
Opposing the bail petition, Prosecutor Nurjahan Begum Mukta argued that the Tribunal-1 granted Alim bail during investigation, but the case is now on trial. Witnesses will be discouraged if Alim, a former minister and very influential person in his locality, remains outside jail, she added.
Despite Alim's old age, the tribunal should reject the bail petition considering the gravity of the offences he allegedly committed during the Liberation War, she said.
If the accused was placed to custody, jail authorities will ensure his treatment as per the jail code, she added.
The three-member tribunal headed by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir with members Justice Obaidul Hasan and Judge M Shahinur Islam granted Alim's bail on several conditions considering his health.
Alim's son Faisal Alim and his counsel Tajul Islam will have to pay Tk 1 lakh bail bond to the tribunal's registrar as security money for his bail.
Other conditions say Alim must not contact with political leaders, victims and witnesses of war crimes; he cannot go to his district home in Joypurhat without permission of the tribunal and has to stay in his son's house in Banani; he must not make any statements to the print or electronic media; he has to cooperate with the investigation agency in discharging its duties; he has to surrender his passport and provide his cellphone number to the registrar, if he uses any.
Alim would be taken to custody and his bail order will "'stand cancelled" if any of the conditions is violated, the tribunal said.
The tribunal adjourned till May 7 the hearing on charge framing against Alim following a time petition of the defence, as they could not prepare their defence yet.
Meanwhile, the same tribunal deferred till May 7 the hearing on charge framing against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah in connection with crimes against humanity.
The tribunal fixed the date, as Abdur Razzaq, chief of the defence, could not appear before the tribunal as he was busy with the Tribunal-1 in connection with another case.