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International Crimes Tribunal to get new chairman soon

  • Published at 01:03 pm September 21st, 2017
  • Last updated at 01:08 pm September 21st, 2017
International Crimes Tribunal to get new chairman soon
The government is going to reform the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) soon with appointment of a new chairman. The post of the ICT chairman became vacant after Justice Anwarul Haque died on July 13 this year. After his death, the trial proceedings at the tribunal faced gridlock as two other judges-- Justice Md Shahinur Islam and Justice Md Shohrowardi—neither could take any allegations into cognisance nor could deliver any verdict as law does not allow them. “The reformation process is about to end. You can say, it will be done shortly,” Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq told Dhaka Tribune on Wednesday. Sources said, the tribunal may get Justice Md Shahinur Islam as new chairman and there could be some changes in the judges’ panel too. High Court Division’s Justice Amir Hossain may be appointed as a tribunal member. The Supreme Court has proposed his name to the Law Ministry, the source added. Judge Abu Ahmed Jamadar of the Special Judge Court-3, who has been on post-retirement leave (PRL) since June 15 this year, can also be included in the tribunal judges panel. In that case, Justice Md Suhrawardy may be posted to the High Court division, sources said further. ICT prosecutor Rezia Sultana Chaman said, “Since the chairman's death, the tribunal is not functioning normally. It has been refraining from passing any order or decisions. “Now the accused persons are being produced on scheduled date and the judges are fixing new date for appearance,” she said. According to the International Crimes Tribunal Act 1973, in case of the absence of the chairman of the three-member tribunal, the two other members can continue the operation of the tribunal, but cannot take any allegation into cognisance or deliver verdict. The tribunal source said currently 31 cases are pending. Nine of them are at the trial stage and rest at the pre-trial stage. Some of these cases are at the stages of formal charge submission or taking charges into cognisance. Proceedings of some case stopped in the mid of witnesses deposition. A number of cases are kept waiting for the investigation reports. The trial proceedings of a case completed on May 9 and the judgment is pending. In July and August this year the Law Minister told reporters that the government was hopeful to appoint new chairman for the tribunal very soon. The International Crimes Tribunal was formed in March, 2010 to try the persons involved in crimes against humanity during the war of Independence in 1971. The second tribunal was formed in 2012 which made non-functional in 2015.