press trust of india
Dhaka, 21 July
Bangladesh today said it would launch legal and diplomatic efforts to repatriate an alleged 1971 war crimes accused from the UK, who is now one of Britain’s most prominent Muslim leaders.
The reaction came a day after Mr Choudhury Mueenuddin, in an interview with the Al Jazeera, declined to appear before the Bangladeshi war crimes tribunal saying “the tribunal in Bangladesh is a joke, its a sham trial”.
“Mr Choudhury Mueenuddin himself is an accused who is wanted particularly for the systematic killings of top intellectuals just ahead of the 16 December, 1971 victory against Pakistan. Don’t you think it is natural on his part to make such claims about the trial,” attorney general Mahbubey Alam told PTI. Mr Alam said, Mr Mueenuddin, a former journalist, and his fellow war crimes accused Mohammad Ashrafuzzaman Khan alias Nayeb Ali would be tried in absentia if they could not be brought back.
“We know one of them (Mueenuddin) is living in Britain and the other is in the USA. We will do all we can to return them home to be exposed to justice,” a foreign ministry spokesman told PTI. Mr Mueenuddin also denied involvement in “any criminal activities of any nature” in the 1971 liberation war or since, saying, “In fact, I was not even a supporter of military action and I resigned my political posts after the military crackdown.”
Mr Mueenuddin and Md Khan were two leaders of the infamous Al-Badr militia manned mostly by students of the radical Jamaat-e-Islami party.