Top Islamist party leader charged with war crimes
Bangladesh yesterday charged the former leader of its main Islamist party with war crimes committed during the 1971 war that liberated the country from Pakistan, court officials said.
Ghulam Azam, who was a regional leader of the far-right Jamaat-e-Islami party and later headed it, was charged with helping Pakistani forces attack civilians during the nine-month conflict by a specially appointed court, the International Crimes Tribunal.
The three-strong panel of judges headed by Md Nizamul Huq said Azam’s trial would start on June 5. The 89-year-old Islamist leader pleaded not guilty, public prosecutor Ziad Al Malum told reporters.
Azam, who was arrested and jailed in January, left Jamaat-e-Islami in 2000, though he is generally believed to have remained the effective party leader.
Azam is the third and most high profile opposition figure to have been charged since the government set up the tribunal in 2010 to try suspects. (...)