Govt to inform masses on war crimes trial

ICT

The government will respond to what it said the ‘campaign of confusion’ against the ongoing war crimes trial through a press conference on Dec 26.

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed and Information Minister Hasanul Hoque Inu made the announcement at the Secretariat on Thursday after having a meeting between them.

The two ministers talked to journalists at their respective offices at the Secretariat about the issue.

“Confusing statements are being made on a sub-judice matter. We will brief the government’s position over the issue on Dec 26 through a press conference. The matter will be clarified so that people do not get confused over it,” said Ahmed.

Inu said legal steps would be taken against those involved in creating the ‘confusion’ in the minds of people by spreading ‘confusing information.’

Ahmed said the trial would end following the legal procedures thoroughly.

A ‘controversy’ over the trial against crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 Liberation War surfaced over alleged conversation of former Chairman of the first International Crimes Tribunal Justice Nizamul Huq through Skype. Huq resigned recently over the row, prompting the government to re-constitute the ICT-1.

The BNP and its key ally Jamaat-e-Islami have been demanding holding of the trial afresh since Huq’s alleged talks with a Bangladeshi expatriate Ahmed Ziauddin surfaced.

A Bangladeshi daily published transcription of the alleged conversation, and The Economist ran several reports on it, prompting the ICT to slap a ban on publication of the conversation.

Eight top leaders of the Jamaat and two senior BNP leaders are facing the trial over charges of crimes against humanity.

“Bangladesh is holding trial of these criminals even though it took place 40 years ago. The accused are being provided with all facilities so that people do not nurse any confusuin about the trial. They (the accused) can appeal (against their punishment), and have the opportunity to defend themselves. It is an unprecedented provision in any such trial taken place around the world,” said Law Minister Ahmed.

Inu said those who want to save the war criminals are spreading rumours about the trial course.

“Those having involvement in this (spreading rumours or confusing information) are being identified. Action will be taken against them as per the law. Newspapers, parties or quarters — whoever is involved in this will not be spared.”a

Source: Bd News24

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