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Bangladesh war crime court indicts British Muslim leader

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Bangladesh's war crimes court on Thursday indicted a Bangladesh-born British Muslim leader for his alleged role in the murder of top intellectuals during the country's 1971 liberation war.

"The court has taken into cognizance the charges of war crimes against Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin and issued a warrant to arrest him," International Crimes Tribunal registrar Nasiruddin Mahmud told AFP.

State prosecutor Syed Haider Ali told AFP Mueen-Uddin "has been indicted for crimes against humanity and genocide. The charges include the killing of the country's top intellectuals during the 1971 war of liberation".

The controversial court, called the International Crimes Tribunal, has already charged 12 people with war crimes and sentenced to death two people including the vice-president of the largest Islamic party, Jamaat-e-Islami.

The court also indicted Ashrafuzzaman Khan, a United States citizen, on the same charges.

Mueen-Uddin has held senior positions in a host of Islamic organisations in Britain and was involved in the setting up of the Muslim Council of Britain, according to his website.

Bangladesh, which was called East Pakistan until 1971, has struggled to come to terms with its violent birth.

The current government says up to three million people were killed in the war, many murdered by locals who collaborated with Pakistani forces.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government established the tribunal in March 2010 to try the collaborators, but it has been hit by a series of controversies.

A presiding judge resigned in December last year after his leaked Internet calls showed he was under pressure from the government to deliver a quick judgment.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130502/bangladesh-war-crime-court-indicts-british-muslim-leader