‘No provision in the International Crimes [Tribunals] Act, 1973 to try and punish any political party’

The trial of Jamaat-e-Islami as a political party for war crimes may suffer a set back as the Sheikh Hasina government now believes the existing laws lack provisions for such trial.

At the height of the controversy, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina backed her Law Minister’s position that the Jamaat cannot be tried as a party for war crimes. Law Minister Anisul Huq is already under fire from various quarters for having said that there was no provision in the International Crimes [Tribunals] Act, 1973 to try and punish any political party.

Apparently raising a question about the necessity of the trial, the Law Minister explained the bigwigs of the party [Jamaat] had already been brought to the book for war crimes. The Minister however ruled out any negotiations between the government and Jamaat.

Jamaat’s legality as a political party has already been challenged. The High Court on August 1 last year declared illegal the Jamaat’s registration with the Election Commission. The party moved the Supreme Court challenging the HC verdict and the appeal is pending.

The media investigations, meanwhile, said the Jamaat have already instructed their grassroots to get reunited and launch violent protests if the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty awarded earlier to their key leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee by the war crimes tribunal.