Khaleda out to derail war crimes trial: AL

Ruling Awami League spokesman Syed Ashraful Islam on Tuesday accused opposition leader Khaleda Zia of playing a ‘dangerous role’ to derail the ongoing war crimes trial.Ashraf said the Jamaat-e-Islami was “nothing without her backing.”
“Jamaat does not have the strength to get away by killing policemen and attacking minorities. They get that power from Khaleda Zia,” he told reporters.
“She is using all her strength to jeopardise the war crimes trials,” said Ashraf, who is the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development.
Ashraf, also the ruling party’s General Secretary, made the statement early Tuesday after he placed wreaths at National Memorial in Savar along with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“Though it is sad but it is true that two-time Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has following a dangerous strategy to derail the war crimes trial from the very beginning,” he said.
The Minister also blamed the BNP Chairperson for numerous deaths after a tribunal dealing with crimes against humanity in 1971 sentenced Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee to death last month. At least 70 people died in the violence following the verdict.
Pointing at the BNP Chairperson, he said, “A few days ago, in Bogra, she (Khaleda Zia) asked the Armed Forces to interfere in politics and administration of Bangladesh. This is unprecedented in any democratic country.”
Anywhere else, Khaleda Zia would have to face sedition charges, the Minister said.
“Bangladesh is a strange country. You may go unchallenged by saying anything. The legal issues take back seat, but none in this world is above law,” said Ashraf.
On the proposal to ban the Jamaat-e-Islami, Ashraf said, “This is only happening in Bangladesh that the people against whom we fought and who opposed our independence are in politics even after 42 years of independence.”

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