US to help Bangladesh organise "transparent" war crime trials

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Washington, Jan 14 (ANI): An American envoy has said his country would help Bangladesh "hold an open and transparent trial" in connection with the 1971 independence war.

"The US government will help Bangladesh hold an open and transparent war crimes trial with the rights of defence for the accused," the BBC quoted Stephen Rapp, US ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues, as saying.

He also said that American officials would advise how to ensure the right to defence and would also help in the investigation process to gather evidence related to war crimes in that country.

Thousands of people were reportedly killed in the 1971 war, which ultimately led Bangladesh attain independence from Pakistan.

Six people, including five leaders of the Islamic Jamaat-e-Islami party, were reportedly charged with war crimes last year.

This is the first time a senior American envoy has visited the country to discuss the war crimes tribunal, the report said.

Meanwhile, Rapp further assured that he would send a memorandum to the law minister next week, "suggesting ideas that may meet some of the issues that have been raised by... organisations like the International Bar Association that may help assure that justice is done and seem to be done in the process here."

He concluded that the process should be carried out in such a way that it maintains international standards and also the traditions of Bangladesh. (ANI)

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