WAR CRIMES TRIAL Alim verdict tomorrow

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A tribunal in Dhaka, which is holding trial against ex-BNP lawmaker Abdul Alim for his alleged wartime offences, will deliver its verdict Wednesday.

Alim, 83, a former member of late president Ziaur Rahman’s cabinet, was indicted on 17 charges for his alleged involvement in crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Joypurhat during the country’s Liberation War in 1971.

Of the charges, 15 were framed in connection with his alleged involvement in the killing of around 600 people in 15 incidents. The other two charges were in connection with looting, arson, deportation and detention of unarmed civilians.

The International Crimes Tribunal-2 led by Justice Obaidul Hassan fixed the date for pronouncing the verdict prior to recording testimony of second prosecution witness in a war crimes case against Jamaat-e-Islami leader AKM Yusuf on Tuesday.

The tribunal came with the date 16 days after keeping Alim’s case waiting for verdict as the prosecution completed their closing arguments on September 22.

If convicted, Alim might have to walk to the gallows for his wartime offences.

Alim’s judgement will be the 8th verdict for war crimes tribunal.

On September 22, the tribunal also sent the accused BNP leader to jail, cancelling his bail.

Arrested on March 27, 2011, the former BNP lawmaker has been on conditional bail since March 31, 2011 on health grounds.

The special agency designated to probe war crimes began the investigation into Alim’s involvement on March 6, 2011 and submitted a report to the prosecution on January 15, 2012.
The prosecution pressed charges against him on March 15, 2012 and the tribunal-1 accepted the charges on March 27.
On April 16, the case was transferred to the ICT-2 which indicted him for 17 charges.

The prosecution produced 35 witnesses and exhibited a number of documents to prove Alim’s involvement with the war crimes.
On the other side, the defence produced three witnesses, including Alim’s son, and several documents to prove their client’s alibi.

ALIM’S BACKGROUND
Born on November 1 in 1930 in the West Bengal of India, Alim with his family migrated to Joypurhat in 1950-51.

In 1958, he joined the Muslim League.

He was an influential leader of the Convention Muslim League and vice-chairman of Bogra District Council in 1971, according to the prosecution.

Alim allegedly established a peace committee office and a training centre for Razakars and set up an accommodation for Pakistani Major Afzal, occupying the Gadi Ghar (trading office) of trader Shownlal Bajla of Joypurhat, after he had been compelled to go to India.
Members of the peace committee and the Razakar force collaborated with the Pakistani forces in committing genocide and mass killings during the nine-month-long war when 30 lakh Bangalees were killed and over two lakh women raped, according to historic documents.
Following the war, Alim was put in jail under the Collaborator Act-1972. But as Ziaur Rahman took over the helm of the country, he made Alim a minister in 1978.

Alim also joined Zia’s newly-formed party BNP at that time. He was elected lawmaker from Joypurhat in 1979, 1996 and 2001 elections, according to the defence and prosecution documents.

 

 

 
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