Suranjit slams Shafique over trial disclosure





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Uploaded on Jun 20, 2011

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Dhaka, June 20 (bdnews24.com)—A senior Awami League leader has said no minister has the legal jurisdiction to declare when the trial of suspected war criminals will begin.

The ruling party's advisory council member Suranjit Sengupta's barb was apparently aimed at the law minister Shafique Ahmed for his remarks the trial would begin in July.

At the Dhaka Reporters Unity on Monday, Suranjit, also the chief of parliamentary watchdog on law ministry, slammed the government for its 'unpardonable' failure to begin the trial even after two and a half years into its term.

The discussion, organised by Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote, on militancy and communalism-free Bangladesh was held to mark the 100th birth anniversary of Sufia Kamal.

About the announcement, he said: "The government has already formed the tribunal, prosecution and the investigating agency. It's the tribunal who will decide about the beginning of the trial.

"No minister has the legal power to say so, not even us," he observed.

Law minister Shafique on Sunday said, "The progress that the investigators and prosecutors have shown lead me to the belief that the trial could begin next month. They have confirmed about beginning of the trial of two.

"The rest may face trial in August," the technocrat minister added.

To date, Jamaat-e-Islami chief Matiur Rahman Nizami, secretary-general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, assistant secretaries-general Muhammad Abdul Quader Molla and Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, executive council member Delwar Hossain Sayedee, BNP leaders Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and Abdul Alim, a minister of Ziaur Rahman 's cabinet, have been arrested on war crimes charges.

Suranjit said only the tribunal and prosecution team members should speak to the media. "Confusions may be created if others do that."

Urging the government to begin the trial soon, he said: "People will lose patience if the trial don't start by this year."


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