Khokon’s ‘war crimes’ trial begins
Published: 2013-10-09 17:10:04.0 BdST Updated: 2013-10-09 18:49:16.0 BdST
The International Crimes Tribunal has ordered the start of the trial of fugitive BNP leader Jahid Hossain Khokon for 11 charges of war crimes in 1971.
The ICT-1 headed by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir, on Wednesday indicted the Nagarkanda municipality Mayor for crimes such as murder, rape, loot, arson, detention and torture.
The trial of ‘Khokon Razakar’ will begin on Nov 3 through opening statements of the prosecution.
The tribunal has appointed Khokon a lawyer, Abdus Shukur Khan, to represent him in court. Khan is also permitted to communicate with the fugitive.
On Sep 17, The ICT-1 had set Sep 29 for charge framing before rescheduling it to Oct 9.
The prosecution started the hearing on charge framing from Sep 5.
The court issued a warrant of arrest for Faridpur’s Nagarkanda Mayor on Jul 18 after taking cognisance of 11 charges brought against him.
The prosecution submitted the charges to ICT-1 registrar on June 23. The plea for a warrant of arrest was also submitted with the report.
The formal charges say that the freedom fighters were locked in a battle with the Pakistan army and its local collaborators on May 29, 1971, at Chander Haat in Faridpur.
Khokon became the chief of Nagarkanda Razakar unit after his brother 'Zafar', also a collaborator, died in that battle.
The BNP leader has been charged for murder of 50 including 16 women and children, burning to death of three persons, forced conversion of of nine, arson and looting of 10 villages including 2 temples, forcing seven families to leave the country and torturing 25 persons.
According to the tribunal investigators, ‘Khokon Razakar’ had campaigned for Jamaat-e-Islami in the 1970 national election. After independence, he joined the BNP and became the Vice-President of the Nagarkanda BNP unit.
He was elected Mayor to the Nagarkanda Municipality in 2011 and has been absconding since taking oath.
ICT investigator Satya Ranjan Roy began probing allegations against him on Apr 16 last year and recorded testimony of 78 people.
Meanwhile, hearing of charge framing against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdus Sobhan started on Wednesday.
During the hearing, prosecutor Sulatn Mahmud Simon explained the role of Sobhan as Jamaat leader in 1971 and prosecutor Rezia Sultana elaborated on the charges against him.
Tangail detective police detained the Jamaat leader on Sep 20 last year from Bangabandhu bridge toll plaza.
The prosecution moved the tribunal three days later to show him arrested for the sake of the investigation on charges of crimes against humanity.
He was ordered into jail on Sep 30 last year and the tribunal denied him bail the following day.
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