'Unnecessary' comments about war crimes tribunal amount to obstructing trial, says law minister in defence of resolution for legal recourse Updates
Dhaka, Feb 17 (bdnews24.com) — Legal action will be taken against people talking "needlessly" against the International Crimes Tribunal, the law minister has said.
Minister Shafique Ahmed made the remark at an Asiatic Society programme on Friday, a day after ruling coalition MPs pushed through a resolution in Parliament to take legal measures against those obstructing the war crimes trial.
"Measures will be taken against those making unnecessary remarks about the trial of war criminals, such as 'we reject this trial, this tribunal'," he told reporters after attending an international conference here.
"Such comments amount to obstructing the trial," he reiterated.
Lawmakers of the governing alliance on Thursday unanimously passed a private member's motion, which the government will now have to turn into a law.
Another bill to try war criminals had also been passed in Parliament three years ago.
Two BNP leaders, including an MP and six leaders of its key ally Jamaat-e-Islami, including its chief, are being tried by the ICT for their alleged link with crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
While the BNP has sought closure of the "illegal" tribunal and claimed the trial is politically motivated, AL leaders have long said the BNP-Jamaat alliance is conspiring to obstruct the ongoing trial.
IN DEFENCE OF THE TRIAL
At the international conference, organised by History Academy, Shafique said crimes such as torture, murder and rape during the Liberation War is a part of history. Similarly, holding the war crimes trial and execution of punishment would also be a part of history, he said.
Asked to react to a report telecast by Middle East-based Al Jazeera TV channel alleging that 'spiritual and pious' leaders are being arrested and tried in the name of war crimes trial, Shafique Ahmed said it was a case of "misinformation" if the channel reported any such news.
"No one is being arrested or tried on religious or political grounds," he said. "Those who are being brought to justice have specific allegations against them, for involvement in crimes against humanity (in 1971)."
Presided over by president of History Academy Prof K M Mohasin, Friday's function was attended by the academy's members and Asiatic Society president Prof Nazrul Islam.
Academy authorities honoured noted anthropologist A K M Zakaria with a gold medal at the function.