Bangladesh war crimes tribunal to announce verdict on 8 Al-Badr men


    Dhaka, July 17 (IANS) Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) will deliver its verdict on Monday in the case of eight Jamalpur ‘Al-Badr’ men accused of allegedly committing war crimes during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation war.

    On Sunday the three-member tribunal bench headed by Justice Anwarul Haque fixed the date of verdict, The Daily Star reported.

    On June 19, the ICT kept pending its verdict.

    The accused are — S.M. Yousuf Ali, Shamsul Haque, Ashraf Hossain, Prof Sharif Ahammed, Abdul Mannan, Abdul Bari, Harun and Abul Hashem.

    They are facing charges including of murder, abduction, torture, confinement and arson committed between April 22 and December 11 in 1971.

    Of them, Yousuf and Shamsul, arrested on March 2 last year, are now in jail.

    Ashraf is believed to have fled to India while the rest are on the run in Bangladesh, according to the tribunal’s investigation agency.

    According to the agency, Jamalpur and Sherpur were the birthplace of Al-Badr, an auxiliary force of the Pakistani occupation army.

    Ashraf Hossain, along with executed war criminal Muhammad Kamaruzzamann and Kamran — all leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami’s the then student wing Islami Chhatra Sangha — organised Al-Badr in greater Mymensingh.

    Sharif, Mannan, Bari, Harun and Hashem were also involved in Islami Chhatra Sangha and turned into Al-Badr members, the agency said.

    Sharif was the director of Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd between 1987 and 2003 and executive and managing director of Bangladesh Publications Ltd, which owned the Daily Sangram, between 1999 and 2013.

    Shamsul, as a Jamaat candidate, ran for provincial assembly membership in the 1970’s election from Jamalpur but was defeated. Yusuf, also with Jamaat’s ticket, tried for membership in the national assembly and he was defeated too.

    However, Yousuf became a national assembly member through a so-called” by-election in 1971, the agency said, adding that the duo — Shamsul and Yusuf — patronized Al-Badr in Jamalpur.

    On October 26 last year, the tribunal framed five charges and the prosecution produced 25 witnesses, including the investigation officer of the case, along with some documentary evidence. The defence declined to produce any witness, the Daily Star reported.


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