War crimes suspect Syed Mohammad Qaiser, former state minister for Agriculture during the regime of military ruler General HM Ershad, was sent to jail following an order passed by the International Crimes Tribunal-2 on Tuesday.
The tribunal’s order came at 4:10 pm when in compliance with its order police produced the turncoat politician before it.
On May 15, upon a prosecution plea, the three-member tribunal, headed by Justice Obaidul Hassan, issued arrest warrant against Qaiser, a leader of the local Peace Committee in Habiganj in 1971 , in connection with his alleged crimes against humanity during the Liberation War.
Earlier, the investigation agency under the ICT through the prosecution had submitted an application before the tribunal seeking Qaiser’s arrest for ‘fair and effective investigation’ into his alleged crimes against humanity.
Appearing before the tribunal, accused Qaiser filed an application seeking bail on ground of geriatric complications and as he is unable to move on his own without help.
In reply, designated prosecutor Rana Dasgupta prayed a day’s adjournment for hearing the bail plea as he had received the petition only half an hour back and could not go through its content.
Interrupting the prosecutor, the tribunal, referring to a police report received on Monday, asked him whether the accused has been discharged from the hospital.
Replying to the tribunal’s query, Rana Dasgupta said police had cordoned off Qaiser’s hospital bed at Apollo in the capital following its order and the accused was produced before it after getting a discharge certificate.
Before passing its order, the tribunal asked SM Shahjahan, the counsel for Qaiser, about the age of the accused and his health condition.
In reply, counsel Shahjahan told the tribunal that his client, who turned 73, is seriously sick and moves in wheel chair.
Hearing both the sides, the tribunal, keeping the bail petition pending, issued a custody warrant against the accused and asked police to produce him on Wednesday at 10:30 am.
According to investigation agency, Qaiser entered politics by joining BNP and subsequently became the president of Habiganj BNP. Later, he quit BNP to join Ershad’s Jatiya Party and became a state minister.
Source: UNB Connect