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 Govt set for 'first step' to long-awaited trials..................

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PostSubject: Govt set for 'first step' to long-awaited trials..................   Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:41 pm



The government is set to form a probe committee on war crimes perpetrated during Bangladesh's 1971 independence war, the "first step" toward the long-awaited trials, the state minister for law said Sunday

"A probe committee will be formed on Apr. 8 with the appointment of an investigation officer and thus the first step of the war crimes trial process will have started," Kamrul Islam told reporters.

His briefing followed a meeting of home minister Sahara Khatun and law minister Shafiq Ahmed with UNDP country representative Renata Lok Dessallien at the law ministry.

Kamrul said, "The UNDP has offered support in trying the war criminals. We'll accept their offer in taking the next steps."

Dessallien told reporters that the UNDP had offered the government help to ensure the trials meet international standards.

Many countries have held such trials and the UN was offering assistance so that experiences of those trials are utilised in Bangladesh to avoid mistakes, said Dessallien.

Asked if there was any pressure from any country against trying war criminals in Bangladesh, Kamrul said: "No. But, the government is ready to hold trials despite all risks."

He also said the government was keeping a watch so that no suspected war criminals fled the country.
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