The International Crimes Tribunal-1 on Thursday fixed April 23 for order whether it would indict detained Mobarak Hossain of Akhaura, Brahmnabaria, for his alleged involvement in perpetrating crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
The three-member tribunal, headed by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir, will also pass order on the same day whether it would set the accused free from the charges of war crimes and entertain his bail plea.
With the accused in the dock, the tribunal passed the order after hearings on the two petitions filed by the prosecution and the defence lawyers.
The prosecution pressed for initiating trial after framing charges against the accused while the defence counsel prayed for discharging his client from the case.
Detained Mobarak also prayed for his bail.
Backing the discharge petition, senior defence counsel Ahsanul Huq Hena claimed his client to be innocent saying that he had no connection with the charges of crimes against humanity during the Liberation War. Inordinate delay in filing the case after long four decades raises doubt about the allegations, he added.
About the bail plea, the defence counsel told the tribunal that his client should be enlarged on bail. Accused Mobarak did not misuse the terms of bail granted to him by this tribunal earlier.
On March 12, after taking cognisance of the formal charge made against Mobarak Hossain by the prosecution, the tribunal sent him to jail, rejecting his bail extension prayer.
According to the prosecution, Mobarak, a Razakar commander in 1971, faces five charges like genocide, murder, torture, killing and abduction.
A total of 21 people have been made prosecution witnesses in the case.
Khodeja Begum, whose father was allegedly killed by Mobarak, had filed a case with Brahmanbaria court on May 3, 2009 which was transferred to the International Crimes Tribunal in 2011 for order.
The tribunal then asked its investigation agency to investigate the matter.
United News of Bangladesh