Int'l law on war crimes trial being updated: Shafiq

The government has sent the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973 to the Law Commission for opinion on updating the law to hold the trial of independence war crimes. FULL STORY

bdnews24.com
Published : 21 May 2009, 04:28 AM
Updated : 21 May 2009, 04:28 AM
Dhaka, May 21 (bdnews24.com)—The government has sent the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973 to the Law Commission for opinion on updating the law to hold the trial of independence war crimes.
"The government has taken steps to revamp the International Crimes Tribunal Act. We have forwarded it to experts at the Law Commission for their opinions," , law minister Shafiq Ahmed told reporters on Thursday.
The minister said, "Realistic measures will be taken about trying the war criminals only after modifying the law appropriately."
"There is no bar, however, to investigate the war crime incidents," the minister, a barrister, said.
He said if any political party opposed the trial, it can be assumed that there were inside the party who had perpetrated the crime against humanity.
"We are not accusing chief of any political party or its member of war crimes .Rather we are making the move to hold the trial of the real 'war criminals'," Shafiq explained.
On the libel suit filed by Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delwar Hossain Saeedi against three lawyers, he said, "The real culprits would be identified once the investigation starts. We have nothing to say if one tries to defend oneself."
The minister said the government was taking more time for appointing different officials and staff including bench clerk, office register and others thought to be helpful for holding trial.
The task for appointing investigating team and lawyers was underway. There should be no doubt about holding the trial in line with international norm, he asserted.
Asked about the government's priority between trial of BDR mutiny and war crimes, he said, "Both the trials are important for the government. But there is no chance to see the two from same perspective."
the minister said the trial for BDR mutineers would start after the probe reports were available.
Shafiq was asked whether disciplinary action would be taken against the army as several mutinies had taken place within army since 1975.
"BDR is a disciplined force and they have killed members of another disciplined force."
In this case, he said, there was no scope to match the Aug 15, 1975 tragedy with recent BDR mutiny.
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Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher