'1973 Act Adequate'
Friday, 25 June 2010

Law minister Shafique Ahmed on Thursday firmly said it was possible to try war crimes in a transparent and impartial manner by ensuring international standards under the 1973 act.

His assertion came in response to Wednesday's bdnews24.com report that said Jamaat-e-Islami was involved in organising a seminar at the House of Lords, which discussed whether the 1973 act was consistent for trial of war criminals in accordance with the international standards.

"We've taken the initiative to try the war criminals with proper laws. There is no loophole in law.

"We informed the UK government through the Bangladesh High Commission that it is possible to hold transparent and impartial trial under this law," the minister said.

Shafique further told reporters that "from now on, the investigation body and the lawyers' panel will hold meeting every week among themselves on crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes".

"They will inform state minister for law Qamrul Islam about the day-to-day progress in investigation."

On March 25, the government constituted a three-member tribunal, investigation body and a lawyers' panel to try war criminals under the ambit of the 1973 International War Crimes (Tribunal) Act. After that, there was a meeting involving the concerned ministries and tribunal and panel members.

Asked about the subjects discussed, the law minister said,"Overall progress of work by the investigation agency has been discussed. But in the interest of secrecy, no information can be devulged now".

Replying to a question about the 'slow pace' of investigation, the minister said, "It is not correct. It may take some time since the trial is going to be held after 39 years. We do not want that any lacuna should exist in law."

He expressed the hope that the trial of the war criminals would be completed under this government.

Source: bdnews24.com

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