It's internal affair | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 23, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 23, 2013

It's internal affair

Say Germany, France; UK backs trial

The UK said yesterday it supported the war crimes trial in Bangladesh but always opposed capital punishment while Germany and France termed the trial an internal affair of the country.
They gave their reactions a day after the International Crimes Tribunal-2 awarded death sentence to Abul Kalam Azad for genocide and crimes against humanity during the Liberation War.
The British Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi said: “The British Government notes the verdict by the International Crimes Tribunal in the case of Abul Kalam Azad. The British Government supports the efforts of Bangladesh to bring to justice those responsible for committing atrocities during the 1971 War, although we remain strongly opposed to the application of the death penalty in all circumstances.
“The British Government is aware of concerns expressed by some human rights NGOs and legal professionals about proceedings at the International Crimes Tribunal. We hope that the International Crimes Tribunal addresses such concerns promptly and thoroughly to ensure the continued integrity, independence and reputation of the legal process in Bangladesh.”
Talking to newsmen in Dhaka yesterday, German Ambassador Albrecht Conze said every country must find its own way to deal with the past.
“Every country that has a painful past must find its own way to deal with the past. Bangladesh seems to be on the way to find that way…. It is entirely your affair how to deal with your past. But I can understand being a German when the past has been painful it is important to create the condition to turn the page and you are about to do that,” the German ambassador said after laying the foundation stone of a common building for the French and German embassies at Baridhara.
Asked if he was satisfied with the procedure of the trial process, the German envoy said he did not follow precisely the proceedings of that court.
“I think the tribunal has taken into consideration some of concerns voiced somewhere in the international field, especially in Britain. And, I have myself not seen any flagrant violation of due procedure. In fact what I can tell you what the Law Minister has told us. The procedural law concerning this tribunal has been written more than 30 years ago by two eminent German professors of penal law and I have no reason to suspect the law is flawed,” he added.
French Ambassador Michel Trinquier, who was also at the programme, said: “It is not correct to interfere into the case. It is for every country to decide how to solve the problem of the past. Some countries passed amnesty laws while others set tribunals to try the crimes committed.”
Asked whether the tribunal was in the right track, he said, “It is for you to decide. It is for you to think. I saw a poll in the newspapers that majority of people are in favour of the trial.”

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