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War crimes trial Prosecution arguments against Jabbar begins Nov 25

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Staff reporter The International Crimes Tribunal-1 on Monday set November 25 for the prosecution case summing-up arguments on 1971 war crimes facing by fugitive accused Engineer Jabbar of Mathbaria, Pirojpur. Responding to a time plea, the three-member tribunal, headed by Justice M Enayetur Rahim, held back the summing-up arguments for a week as the designated prosecutor admitted their lack of preparation in this regard. Earlier, as the tribunal resumed, investigation officer (IO) of the case, ASP M Helal Uddin was cross-examined by state-appointed defence counsel MA Hasan that lasted for an hour. During the cross-examinations, the IO admitted that during the investigation he had interrogated deputy commissioner (DC) of Pirojpur for collecting documentary evidence in connection with the case. “But I didn’t consider him as a prosecution witness (PW) of the case.” Denying a series of state defence suggestions, the IO told the tribunal that it was not true that he did not provide original papers and documents in connection with the case, rather he submitted the investigation report with false and makeover papers and documents as being influenced and provoked by the political opponents of accused Jabbar and the prosecution witnesses made tutored evidence before the tribunal. The tribunal on August 14 framed charges against Abdul Jabbar for his involvement in crimes against humanity during the Liberation War after fulfilling the requirement of law for trying a fugitive accused, including the appointment of state defence counsel. On May 11, the prosecution submitted to the ICT Registrar the proposed charges accusing Jabbar of perpetrating the crimes against humanity during the Liberation War. The prosecution pressed five counts of war crimes charges against the former Jatiya Party MP, believed to have been living in the USA. The investigator ‘found’ Jabbar’s involvement in crimes like killing, genocide, arson, looting and forcefully converting many Hindus to Muslims in the then Mathbaria thana of Pirojpur during the war. Jabbar had been made chairman of local thana Peace Committee (collaborator) and he then organised Razakar outfit in Mathbaria, according to an investigation report. Octogenarian Jabbar of Khetachhira in Mathbaria was the vice-chairman of Jatiya Party. He had joined the Pakistan Muslim League through his father-in-law, Arshed Ali Hawlader, who was an influential Muslim League leader. Jabbar later joined the Jatiya Party of Gen (retd) HM Ershad and was twice elected Member of Parliament with the party tickets in 1986 and 1988.