[JURIST] The International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) [official website; JURIST news archive] officially charged Abdul Jabbar, a former Jatiya Party lawmaker, with war crimes on Sunday. The charges, which include genocide, come at the conclusion of a year-long probe into allegations against the former member of Bangladesh’s parliament. The probe produced evidence of Jabbar’s involvement [Daily Star report] in the murder of 36 people, along with the forceful conversion of 200 Hindus to Islam and the looting and burning of 557 houses in Mathbaria during Bangladesh’s war for independence. Leaders of the investigation say that 46 people have been made witnesses [Bangladesh News 24 Hours report] in the case against Jabbar.
The ICTB, which was established in 2009 under the International Crimes Act [text], is charged with investigating and prosecuting war crimes committed during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War [Bangladesh News backgrounder; JURIST news archive], in which about 3 million people were killed. In January, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) [party website; Global Security backgrounder] party leader Abdus Subhan was charged with war crimes [JURIST report] in connection with the war, but members of the party allege that the tribunal is being used politically. The Assistant Secretary General of JI was executed [JURIST report] in December, following his conviction on charges of war crimes. Former JI leader ATM Azharul Islam was indicted [JURIST report] in November on six charges of crimes against humanity.