The first war crimes tribunal of Bangladesh gave a two-month bail to one Mohammad Mobarak, who has been in custody for almost nine months.
Set up to try crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War, the three-judge International Crimes Tribunal -1 ordered Mobarak’s counsel to produce the petitioner on Sep 16.
The tribunal Chairman Justice Mohammad Nizamul Huq also ordered the investigation agency to submit a progress report on the same day.
Justice Huq noted in his order that the investigation agency had not initiated any investigation although it had received the case documents earlier.
Prosecutor Zead-Al-Malum showed the court that the investigators had started probing the case on Jul 15. Justice Huq noted that the investigation had begun ‘yesterday’ while all this time Mobarak had been in custody.
The tribunal chief said, “A person should not suffer for the fault of others.” He also noted that Mobarak “has been suffering for his belief in the courts and for following the court’s order”.
S M Shahjahan, the petitioner’s counsel told the court that his client had initially been given bail by the High Court but later was told to surrender to the trial court on Oct 19, 2011 when a Brahmanbaria court took him in custody, having already transferred his case to the tribunal.
Justice Huq, noting that investigation had not begun in all this time, said, “We cannot say that this custody had been a proper one.”
The court said in its order that it was thus inclined to enlarge Mobarak on bail for two months.
The court also noted that there were 645 cases that had been transferred to the tribunal from lower courts for investigation that remain pending with the investigation agency. The order also noted that according to the submissions of Prosecutor Malum, there were four such persons out of the 645, who were in custody.
Mohammad Mobarak’s case was first lodged at Brahmanbaria by one Khodeja Begum, widow of Abdul Khaleque on May 3, 2009. Since then Mobarak had remained on bail which was extended from time to time but was eventually refused.