The chief of Bangladeshs largest Islamic party and one of his deputies were indicted Monday for alleged crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 independence war against Pakistan.
A special tribunal set up to deal with charges of crimes against humanity indicted Matiur Rahman Nizami,the chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami,on 16 charges,including genocide and murder. Another tribunal indicted Abdul Quader Molla,a deputy of Nizami,for his alleged involvement in crimes against humanity. Nizamis trial will begin July 1,while Mollas starts June 20. If convicted,they could face death.
Jamaat-e-Islami had campaigned against breaking away from Pakistan and several party leaders now stand accused of collaborating with Pakistani army in committing atrocities,including the murder of some 3 million people.
Nizami and Molla,who have been in jail since last year,are among five top Jamaat-e-Islami leaders accused of war crimes. Nizami was chief of the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami during the war and went on to serve as a minister from 2001 to 2006 under Khaleda Zia.