Trial of war criminals still possible
Trial of the war criminals in Bangladesh is still possible although a long time has elapsed, much like in the case of Cambodia, Dr Helen Jarvis, chief of Public Affairs of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), said yesterday.
She was delivering the founding anniversary memorial lecture of the Liberation War Museum marking its 13th founding anniversary and the Independence Day at the museum.
The Cambodian people found many barriers, both domestically and internationally, in bringing the Khmer Rouge war criminals to book. But, the trial began when the tide had at last turned definitely against the Khmer Rouge, Dr Helen said in her lecture titled 'Justice delayed need not mean justice denied'.
Cambodia has started trial of top five men of the Khmer Rouge government who are charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity during their regime 34 years ago.
A hybrid court (ECCC) comprising Cambodian and international judges, prosecutors and staff was set up to try the war criminals in Cambodia, she said.
The ECCC not only has time constraint but it also has other limitations. It can bring to book only 'senior leaders of Democratic Kampuchea' and those most responsible for certain crimes under international law for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes against cultural property and crimes against internationally protected persons and under Cambodian law for murder, torture and religious persecution, she said.
“We also hope that our experience and our model may possibly be a contribution and example to those in other countries who are still awaiting justice for mass crimes committed in the past,” she added.
Later, she inaugurated a weeklong book fair on the liberation war.
Trustee of the museum Ziauddin Tariq Ali delivered the welcome speech at the programme while Trustee and Member Secretary Mafidul Haq presented the annual report.