Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader indicted for war crimes

[JURIST] The International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) [JURIST news archive] on Wednesday indicted Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) [party website] leader Zahid Hossain Khokon in absentia on war crimes charges stemming from the Bangladesh Liberation War [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] in 1971. The charges include [Daily Star report] genocide, torture, abduction and confinement, coming to a total of 11 charges with involvement in at least 13 counts of war crimes. Serving originally as a Jamaat-e-Islami [party website; GlobalSecurity backgrounder] party supporter before the war, Khokon later became a representative of BNP in Nagarkanda, Bangladesh, eventually winning the mayoral election [BDNews24 report] for the municipality in 2011. Khokon is currently a fugitive believed to be living in Switzerland. The ICTB has set November 3 as the date for prosecution's opening statement.

Bangladesh has suffered in recent months from a wave of violent protests over war crimes convictions against leaders of the JI party. Last week a member of parliament for the BNP, Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, was sentenced to death [JURIST report] for war crimes committed during the Liberation War. Last month the Supreme Court of Bangladesh [official website] sentenced [JURIST report] Abdul Quader Mollah, JI assistant secretary general, to death. This overturned a February ruling by the ICTB, which sentenced Mollah to life in prison for crimes committed during the Liberation War. In July Ali Ahsan Mojaheed was found guilty of five charges [JURIST report] by the ICTB, including those of kidnapping and killing a journalist, a music director and a number of other people during the war. Also in July Ghulam Azam, chief of JI in Bangladesh until 2000, was found guilty by the ICTB [JURIST report] of five charges of planning, conspiracy, incitement, complicity and murder during the war.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.