A post-independence union-level Awami League leader for over 16 years stands trial on May 16 before the International Crimes Tribunal-1 for his alleged involvement in crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.The trial of an Awami Leaguer, for the first time, will start with the opening statement by the prosecution followed by examinations of the prosecution witnesses.
Before fixing the date for commencement of the trial, Justice ATM Fazle Kabir, chairman of the three-member tribunal, on Tuesday indicted detained Mobarak Hossain, a self-confessed Razakar in 1971, for committing the crimes against humanity during the Liberation War.
The tribunal considered five specific charges like murder, torture, looting, killing and abduction under the updated International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973 sans genocide as pressed by the prosecution.
In the order, the tribunal also rejected the bail plea of the accused and turned down the defence plea seeking acquittal of the accused from the charges.
After framing the charges, the tribunal asked Mobarak whether he pleads guilty or not.
In reply, Mobarak in the dock pleaded not guilty and sought justice.
The tribunal further asked the defence counsel to submit the list of defence witnesses, if any, before the trial begins.
A total of 21 people have been made prosecution witnesses in the case.
According to the designated investigator under the ICT, Mobarak had acted as organising secretary of union parishad unit of Awami League in Akhaura of Brahmanbaria district for long 16 years.
On April 10, a prosecutor suffered a blow at the tribunal for making ‘half truth’ about the political identity of war crimes suspect Mobarak introducing the accused as a Rokan of Jamaat-e-Islami during the 1971 Liberation War.
On March 12, taking cognisance of the formal charge made against Mobarak, the tribunal sent him to jail, rejecting his bail extension prayer.
Khodeja Begum, whose father was allegedly killed by Mobarak, had filed a case with Brahmanbaria court in 2009 which was transferred to the International Crimes Tribunal in 2011.
The tribunal then asked the agency to investigate the matter. UNB