No one asked us to halt trial: Dipu

Dec28:Foreign Minister Dipu Moni on Friday stated nobody asked Bangladesh to stop the on-going trial of suspected war criminals at the two international war crimes tribunals for their alleged role in crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.

Her remarks came amid talks of Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s letter to President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina calling to spare the suspected war criminals the gallows.

Friday’s media reports said Gul’s letter requested ‘clemency’ for former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Ghulam Azam and other war crimes accused from Hasina and Zillur.

In reply, Dhaka informed Ankara that the request was a clear interference in the internal affairs of Bangladesh, reports added.

Dipu Moni was talking to reporters at the city’s Jatiya Krira Parishad gymnasium.

Replying to a query from, she said,” None asked Dhaka to stop the trials.”

She also invited reporters to her office on Sunday when she was further queried.

The incumbent Awami League government constituted the first war crimes tribunal on Mar 25, 2010 after assuming power to deal with the crimes against humanity committed in 1971.

A second tribunal was also formed for hastening the trial process. Top Jamaat and BNP leaders are standing the trial at the two International Crimes Tribunals.

Although the US and the European Union earlier expressed concerns over the transparency and the standard of trial, Turkey is the first country which officially made such comments over it.

On Dec 24, a Turkish delegation ‘inspected’ the on-going trials at those tribunals without any permission.

Media reports also revealed they exchanged greetings with Ghulam Azam and incumbent Jamaat-e-Islami chief Delwar Hossain Sayedee, drawing severe criticism for their deed.

Dipo Moni had pointed out the next day that the 14-member delegation of a Turkish NGO misused on-arrival visa facility by doing so.

“The Foreign Ministry will look into the matter,” she had said.

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