2nd war tribunal by this month

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Date : Sunday, 18 March 2012
Author : Staff Correspondent
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Says law minister

The government is going to form the second International Crimes Tribunal within this month for quick disposal of war-crimes related cases, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed told The Daily Star yesterday.

The investigation agency and prosecution team, who are dealing with cases at the existing tribunal, would also deal with cases at the new tribunal, he said.

Questions had been raised against the prosecution team’s and investigation agency’s performance and the minister refused to comment on those. The tribunal expressed annoyance on several occasion at the prosecutors and the investigation agency for failing to produce witnesses, present complete investigation reports and formal charges supported with evidence, and coming up with proper replies to the court’s queries.

Shafique Ahmed said the officials of his ministry are monitoring the work and development of the second tribunal, which would be housed at the Old High Court building in the capital.

The existing tribunal was set up on March 25, 2010, at the same building to try crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.

A law ministry high official on condition of anonymity told The Daily Star that the government is yet to decide on the judges of the new tribunal. However, the appointment of judges would not take much time, the official said.

The second tribunal would comprise a chairman and two members just like the existing one, the official said, adding that the judges may be appointed from the High Court and a district court.

The official said the present tribunal may amend its rules of procedure if the government requests to transfer cases to the new tribunal.

The existing tribunal is dealing with eight cases filed against six Jamaat-e-Islami and two BNP leaders in connection with crimes against humanity.

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