Nizami verdict any day

A special tribunal in Dhaka may deliver its judgement on Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami who is facing charges of war crimes any day.

Nizami, 69, is facing 16 charges of wartime offences which he allegedly committed during Bangladesh’s 1971 Liberation War.

The charges include involvement in murders and torture of unarmed people, hatching conspiracy, planning, incitement and complicity to commit genocide and crimes against humanity.

The tribunal may deliver a verdict any day as the case is kept on CAV [Curia Advisari Vult, a Latin legal term meaning verdict would be delivered anytime], Justice ATM Fazle Kabir, chairman of the International Crimes Tribunal-1 said after wrapping up the closing arguments of Nizami’s war crimes case.

Today was the last day for the defence counsels to place their argument as they remained absent in the tribunal citing “personal difficulty” for three consecutive days.

The defence also sought adjournment of the trial today.

But the chief of the three-panel tribunal rejected the adjournment petition and kept the case in CAV.

“For the ends of the justice, the defence is permitted to submit the rest of its arguments in written within five days,” Justice Kabir said while keeping the case on CAV.

If convicted, the Jamaat high-up might be awarded death penalty.

The charges are based on 16 separate incidents of crimes against humanity, in which at least 601 unarmed people were killed and 31 women raped during the War of Independence.

The Jamaat leader was the president of Islami Chhatra Sangha (ICS), student wing of Jamaat in 1971.

Members of the ICS were used to form the AL Badr — an auxiliary force formed to collaborate with the Pakistani military that committed genocide and mass killing during the nine-month-long war.

Nizami headed the infamous Al Badr force and also campaigned across the country in an attempt to foil the birth of Bangladesh.

As a superior leader of the organisation and the force, which collaborated with the Pakistani occupation force, Nizami has also been charged for failing to prevent his subordinates from committing international crimes.

The most notable of the sixteen charges brought against Nizami is his role in eliminating the best brains of the nation through planned killing of intellectuals and professionals prior to Bangladesh’s victory on December 16, 1971.

On May 28 last year, the Jamaat kingpin was indicted for his war crimes.

The tribunal took the charges into cognisance on January 9.

Source: The Daily Star

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