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Thursday, May 28, 2009
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EU supports war crime trial, wants fairness

The European Union (EU) has supported the trial of the war criminals of 1971 and urged the authorities to carry out the trial process maintaining international standards.

The EU expressed the view during a meeting of its ambassadors and senior diplomats based in Dhaka with leaders of the Sector Commanders Forum (SCF) Tuesday.

A release of the SCF said the meeting discussed in detail the relevant trial issues particularly on the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973.

Swedish Ambassador Britt F Hagstrom who heads EU in Bangladesh, said "EU recognises the support for bringing war criminals of the 1971 Liberation War to justice as reflected in the relevant parliamentary resolution."

Stressing that the EU has a record of strong support to efforts to bring the perpetrators of crimes to justice, Hagstrom said, "it is for Bangladesh to determine how the judicial process will be mobilised in this regard."

She also stressed that the trial process should be carried out to international standards.

Earlier, Vice-Chairman of the SCF Maj Gen (retd) KM Safiullah briefed the EU envoys about the historical background of the Bangladesh's war criminals and pointed out how these atrocities by Pakistani army and their local collaborators remained unpunished during the last four decades.

From the EU side, Spanish Ambassador Arturo Perez, German Ambassador Frank Meyke, Italian Ambassador Dr Itala Maria Marta Occhi, Danish Ambassador Heinar Heboggard Jensen, EC Head of the Delegation Stafan Frowein, CDA of Netherlands Fritz Meijndert, Counselor of British High Commission John Ryan and CDA of France Patrick Branco were also present.

SFC Vice President Maj Gen (retd) CR Dutta, its General Secretary Lt Gen (retd) Harun-Ar-Rashid, ambassador Anwarul Alam Shahid, Col (retd) Shamsul Alam, Maj Gen (retd) Jamil Ahsan, Maj Gen (retd) Masudur Rahman, writer-journalist Haroon Habib, Dr Sarwar Ali, Maj(retd) ASM Shamsul Arefin and ex-Addl IGP Nurul Alam among others, were present.

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