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Qaiser Trial Hearing on ‘abuse’ of bail continues

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Court Correspondent
The International Crimes Tribunal-2 on Sunday asked the vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) to submit in ten days a health report after forming a medical board for Syed Mohammad Qaiser, who is facing war crimes trial.
The 10-day deadline for the report on compliance by the BSMMU VC takes effect from the receipt of the tribunal order, said Justice Obaidul Hassan, chairman of the three-member tribunal.
The tribunal came up with the order after hearing arguments and counter arguments from both the prosecution and the defence lawyers over the allegation of abusing privilege of bail by the accused giving threat to a prosecution witness (PW).
PW No-1 Kazi Kabir Uddin, who testified against Qaiser before the tribunal on March 9, made the allegation against the accused. After receiving the threat on March 6, the PW No-1 also lodged a general diary (GD) in this regard with Mohammadpur Police Station of the city on March 10.
On August 5 last year, responding to a defence petition, the tribunal granted bail to Qaiser, subject to conditions, on medical and humanitarian grounds.
Septuagenarian Qaiser, a turncoat politician, was arrested on May 21 last year in connection with the war crimes case.
On February 2, dismissing his discharge plea, the tribunal indicted Syed Mohammad Qaiser, a former junior minister during Gen (retd) Ershad’s rule, for his involvement in crimes against humanity, including genocide in 1971 Liberation War.
On November 14 last year, after perusing the formal charge with 18 count offences submitted by the prosecution and the relevant documents, the tribunal took cognizance of the formal charge as it found prima facie case against the accused under sections 3(2) and 4(1) (2) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973.
According to the investigation agency, after the independence of Bangladesh, Qaiser, a former Pakistan Convention Muslim League activist, entered politics by joining BNP and subsequently became the president of Habiganj BNP. Later, he quit BNP to join Ershad’s Jatiya Party and became state minister for agriculture in 1989. Latest information says that he joined the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Col (retd) Oli Ahmed.
Qaiser, as a local Peace Committee leader during the Liberation War, had formed a vigilante group ‘Qaiser Force’ after his name comprising 500-700 of his trusted men in Habiganj and committed crimes against humanity, including genocide, in collaboration with the Pakistani occupation army.
At the latter part of the Liberation War, he fled to London and returned to the country after the August 1975 political changeover.

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