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Bangladesh war crimes tribunal rejects retrial plea by Jamaat-e-Islami leader

The second International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) [Facebook page] rejected a plea on Monday from Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) [official website; GlobalSecurity backgrounder] Assistant Secretary General Abdul Quader Molla for a re-trial. Justice Obaidul Hassan of the ICTB rejected [bdnews24 report] the petition for re-trial and ordered the defense to commence with arguments. The prosecution completed its arguments on December 27. The court will return a verdict after the defense completes its arguments. Molla's plea was one of the first ones filed after Chief Justice Nizamul Huq stepped down over a controversy based on a conversation with an academic over skype. Molla is among several leaders of JI on trial for war crimes charges who have petitioned for a new trial, claiming that the trial procedures have been compromised.

Last month Justice Mohammed Nizamul Huq, a judge for the ICTB resigned [JURIST report] from his position. Huq was the chairman of the tribunal's three-judge panel, and is a Justice for the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh [official website]. His resignation followed recent allegations of impropriety. The report indicated that Huq ordered two journalists to appear before to explain how they obtained e-mails and recorded telephone conversations between an outside lawyer and himself. The journalists obtained the information in a wider investigation into the practices of the tribunal, the results of which they have yet to publish. The ICTB was established in 2010 [JURIST report] to handle war crimes charges stemming from the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War [GlobalSecurity backgrounder].

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