Cadman moves ICC to probe Hasina govt16 February 2014 bdnews24.com
British lawyer Toby Cadman has said his petition to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague for investigating the Sheikh Hasina government may soon be accepted.
The foreign lawyer for top Jamaat-e-Islami leaders standing war crimes trial on Feb 4 submitted a petition to ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.
He had pleaded for starting investigation against the government and the ruling Awami League on alleged crimes against humanity for persecuting its political foes. He told bdnews24.com in an email interview that he had a series of meetings about the petition with the prosecutor's staff and other ICC personnel on Feb 4 and 5.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam, however, said that there were no legal scopes to file such a petition.
The petition alleged that Awami League had over the last year used the law-enforcing agencies to crack down on the Opposition. It alleged that the media had failed to properly document the incidents of murder, torture, arbitrary arrest and enforced disappearance over the period.
The counsel who specialises in war crimes and human rights law filed the petition on behalf of the International Coalition for Freedoms of Rights, a Europe-based organisation comprising international human rights lawyers from around the world.
He further said the government had shown no interest in launching an independent inquiry into the incidents. He claimed the petitioners had found substantial evidence in the matter and they would be presented to the ICC.
"The supporting evidence will be provided to the prosecutor over the coming weeks and she will make a decision on whether to open a preliminary inquiry," he said, speaking to bdnews24.com.
The petition focused on three separate time frames: Feb 28, 2013 onwards, May 5-6, 2013 and from Dec 24, 2013 onwards to the 10th national election.
He claimed the ICC had contacted the Prime Minister's Office and the foreign ministry about the issues but there had been no response.