THE International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) on Monday framed charges against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee for his alleged involvement in war crimes committed during the 1971 Liberation War.
The detained Jamaat leader who was at the ICT dock however pleaded not guilty to all the 20 war crime charges brought against him.
The three-member tribunal headed by its Chairman Justice Nizamul Huq fixed October 30 for opening statement by the prosecution.
Sayedee is the first man facing formal trial among five Jamaat leaders and two others from the main opposition BNP accused of similar charges.
The tribunal framed charges after rejecting a discharge petition of the Jamaat leader.
Sayedee was produced before the court around 10:30am after the tribunal started its day’s proceedings.
Prior to the resumption of the trial, a prison van carrying Sayedee from Dhaka Central Jail reached the ICT prison ground at about 9:45am.
On September 27, the tribunal fixed the date after hearing arguments on charges submitted by the prosecution.
Prosecutor Syed Haider Ali told the tribunal that they submitted formal charges with sufficient evidence in August to frame charges against Sayedee.
There are chronological descriptions in the formal charges on the offences committed by Sayedee during the Liberation War, he said, adding that there is no legal bar on the tribunal in framing charges against him based on formal allegations.
There might be confusion over the exact dates of the offences committed by Sayedee 40 years ago, but the confusion will be gone when witnesses give their statements after the court frames charges against him, Haider Ali added.
On the other hand, Sayedee’s counsel Tajul Islam told the court that the formal charges submitted by the prosecutors against his client are completely vague since they failed to show Sayedee’s involvement in the crimes and their specific place of occurrence.
The tribunal cannot frame charges against Delawar Hossain Sayedee on the basis of vague allegations, he added.