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ICT probe body frustrated over failure in arresting fugitives

DHAKA, Dec 21, 2016 (BSS) - Expressing his disappointment over failure in arresting fugitive war crimes convicts, coordinator of investigation agency of International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) today said his agency is helpless in this regard and only can give repeated reminders to police.

"Not only us, there is frustration among victims, members of their families, witnesses in these cases, and people who are rallying for the trial for long.

If we cannot ensure the execution of the judgment, the trial will become only a symbolic one," said M Sanaul Huq.

He came up with the observations while addressing a press conference held at agency's Dhanmondi office on the occasion of conclusion of probe against six alleged Razakars from Gaibandha.

"There is a committee at Ministry of Home Affairs to look after matter of arresting the fugitives. Another committee was formed at Police Headquarters following tribunal's order.

This committee hold meeting in every three months and made some reminders, that's it," Huq added.

Giving a data on the numbers of fugitive convicts and accused, Huq said 24 convicts are still in hiding, of which 22 have been sentenced to death.

"One death-row-convict Gazi Abdul Mannan died on December 19.

So now there are 21 more death-row-convicts are still in hiding. A total of 46 people, against whom cases are pending with ICT-1, are yet to be arrested," Huq said.

Reminding of their inability to arrest accused, Huq said his agency has no legal authority in making arrest, leaving only police to do the job. "There are some convicts those are hiding abroad.

We often hear political statements from them. We also hear promises of bringing them to justice. But I don't know why, I think there is lack of coordination in this regard," Huq said.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) National News Agency of Bangladesh