Bangladesh accuses Islamic party of 'war crimes'

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who returned to power in January 2009, pledged to try "war criminals".

Bangladesh accuses Islamic party of 'war crimes'

Bangladesh accused four detained leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, the country's biggest Islamic political party, of war crimes committed in the war of independence nearly 40 years ago, prosecutors said on Sunday.

Jamaat chief Motiur Rahman Nizami, his deputy Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, and two other key leaders, Muhammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Mollah, were detained last month on charges ranging from obstructing police to sedition.

"We have pleaded that the tribunal should ask police to show the four detained leaders also arrested for crimes committed during the liberation war," Prosecutor Golam Arif Tipu told reporters at a briefing.

Jamaat denies the charges, and in turn has accused the government of trying to curb its activities using war crime charges as a ploy to push that effort.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who returned to power in January 2009, pledged to try "war criminals" after polls that ended two years of rule by an army-backed interim authority.

Police last week filed charges at the special war crimes tribunal in Dhaka against the Jamaat leaders.

Delwar Hossain Saidee, a fifth detained leader of Jamaat is likely to be accused of another war crime charge committed in southwestern Satkhira district.

"The tribunal will hear the prosecutors' plea on Monday," registrar of the tribunal Mohammad Shahinur Islam told reporters.

The tribunal set up in March filed war crime charges against the Jamaat leaders on July 21, police said.

Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, separated with a Pakistani foe, India's role, in December 1971 following a nine-month conflict against Pakistan.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Temmuz 2010, 18:02

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