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Slow investigation into Sakhawat's war crimes case irks ICT

By UNB, DHAKA
01st-Jan-2015       
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The International Crimes Tribunal-1 on Wednesday voiced its dissatisfaction over the 'sluggish' investigation into the war crimes case facing by former Jessore MP Maulana Sakhawat Hossain, now in custody.
The three-member tribunal, headed by Justice M Enayetur Rahim, made the observation while prosecutor Zead Al Malum sought further time for three months as proposed by the investigation agency to complete the investigation.
"Why do you press for more time as the investigation agency has already exhausted a year over the investigation?" the tribunal questioned.
In reply, the prosecutor virtually failed to satisfy the tribunal.
The tribunal, however, allowed the prosecution time plea in part, fixing February 1, 2015 for submission of the investigation report.
Besides, the tribunal allowed a separate prosecution petition as proposed by the investigation agency to interrogate accused Sakhawat at its Dhanmondi 'safe home' in the capital for a day in connection with the case.
On November 29, 2014, police arrested Sakhawat from the city's Uttarkhan area for his alleged involvement in crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War in 1971.
There are a number of war crimes allegations against the accused former Jamaat and BNP MP from Jessore-6 constituency, including murder and mass killing.
According to the agency, Sakhawat was a central committee member of the then Islami Chhatra Sangha (now Islami Chhatra Shibir) in 1971.  He was the in-charge of Hisladanga Razakar camp in Keshabpur, Jessore.
Sakhawat was elected MP on Jamaat ticket from Keshabpur constituency in 1991 while on BNP ticket in controversial February 15 election in 1996.
Jatiya Party picked him for the January-5, 2014 national election.
However, his candidature was cancelled over the war crimes charges.

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