Bangladeshi Islamist leader Ghulam Azam charged with 1971 war crimes


A special tribunal set up in Bangladesh has charged top Islamist leader Ghulam Azam with war crimes allegedly carried out during the 1971 war that liberated the country from Pakistan.

Eighty-nine-year-old Azam was accused of committing crimes, including murder and torture, during the nine-month war.

Azam, the most high profile Islamist leader, however, denied the charges, arguing that they are politically motivated, the BBC reports.

The International Crimes Tribunal framed the charges and fixed June 5 for starting the trial of Azam.

The tribunal was set up by the Awami League-led government to try those Bangladeshis accused of collaborating with Pakistani forces who were trying to stop East Pakistan from becoming an independent country.

According to the report, eight people from the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-e-Islami are also accused of war crimes.

So far, the special tribunal has indicted three of them.

All of them deny the charges and the opposition leaders accuse the government of carrying out political vendetta.

Source: Southeast Asia News.Net