Dhaka – A special court will pass verdict Wednesday in trial of a war crimes case against former lawmaker Shakhawat Hossain and eight others, officials said on Tuesday.
They are facing five charges of crimes committed during Bangladesh’s 1971 war of liberation from Pakistan.
International Crimes Tribunal-1 headed by Justice Anwarul Haque set the date of verdict as the proceedings of the trial ended on July 14 after argument from both sides.
Shakhawat, now with Jatiyo Party, was previously lawmaker with tickets from both BNP and Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party.
The tribunal issued the order after the defence team ended their part of arguments, following the prosecution rebuttal part.
Eight other accused are; Billal Hossain, Lutfor Morol, Md Ibrahim Hossain, Sheikh Md Mujibur Rahman, Md Abdul Aziz Sarder, Qazi Ohidul Islam alias Wahidur Salam, Md Aziz Sarder and Abdul Khalek Morol.
Among the accused Lutfor Morol died of cardiac arrest on May 6 this year.
Lawyer Abdus Sattar Palhoyan and Abdus Shukur Khan were on the side of the defence to prove the suspects’ innocence. On the other hand prosecutor Jeyad Al Malum and Raziya Sultana were against the suspects.
Malum said that they were able to prove that the crimes committed by the suspects in the south-western district of Satkhira. “So we prayed for capital punishment, and we are hopeful”, said Malum told reporters after the argument was completed.
Defence lawyer Phaloyan said, the allegations against his clients were false and pointless.
Seventeen witnesses gave deposition on the states side while no witness was in favour of the defendant. The investigators formally accused the nine on December 23 last year. They were accused of mass murder, rape, arson and other crime against humanity.
On June 16, final report was submitted against the suspects. The investigation started on April 1, 2012 and was finished by investigator Abur Razzak Khan.
Shakhawat was elected a Member of Parliament on Jamaat-e-Islami ticket from Jessore-6 constituency in 1991 but he joined Bangladesh Nationalist Party before the tenure of parliament expired.
He was also nominated for parliamentary election by the BNP later.