US probing indictment of American by tribunal

Published : 3 May 2013, 10:29 AM
Updated : 3 May 2013, 03:07 PM

The United States is looking into reports that an American has been indicted by Bangladesh’s war crimes tribunal, according to the State Department.

Its spokesperson at a press briefing in Washington on Thursday, however, did not divulge details citing ‘privacy considerations’

“We are looking into reports that a U.S. citizen has been indicted by Bangladesh’s war crimes court. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment.”

The International Crimes Tribunal-2 on Thursday issued arrest warrants for the two former Al Badr leaders Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, who stand accused of killings scores of leading Bengali intellectuals during the 1971 liberation war.

Ashrafuzzaman Khan is reportedly a US citizen while Mueen-Uddin is a UK community leader.

The two have been charged with murdering 18 intellectuals – nine Dhaka University teachers, six journalists and three doctors – between Dec 10 and Dec14.

Justice Obaidul Hassan-led ICT-2 issued the arrest warrants after considering the charges levelled against them by the prosecution.

A report has been sought by May 12 as to whether the two have been arrested or not.

Prosecutor Mokhlesur Rahman Badal brought the charges on Apr 28 after Tribunal prosecutor Saidur Rahman filed his investigation report on Apr 25.

Both were said to be active member of Islami Chhatra Sangha – the erstwhile student affiliate of the Jamaat-e-Islami in 1971.

The Jamaat opposed Bangladesh’s independence and sided with the Pakistani rulers in the 1971 war.

Prosecutor Zead-Al-Malum has said Ashrafuzzaman is in New York and Mueen-Uddin is in London.

A total of 16 charges of crimes against humanity have been brought against them under five categories.