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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2677

Bangladesh President seeks Supreme Court’s directive on the BDR mutiny trial

M.A Qader-Reporting from Bangladesh

Dhaka, 17 August (Asiantribune.com): Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman on Monday sought the Supreme Court's opinion to decide whether the border guards BDR mutiny trial should be held under civil or military law.

The president sent a reference to the chief justice yesterday seeking a directive on whether the accused in the BDR mutiny case could be tried under military law, specifically under the Army Act of 1952.

The reference was sent by a special messenger to the Supreme Court's registrar's office at around 3pm through the Ministry of Law, Supreme Court registrar Mohammad Shawkat Hossain told reporters.

He said it would be sent to the Chief Justice the same day.

An inter-ministerial meeting on the BDR trial decided last month that the President would seek the Chief Justice's opinion on the BDR trial process.

Over seventy people were killed in the Feb 26-28 massacre, 57 of them were army officers, while the rest of the victims were BDR members and civilian bystanders.

The national probe body on the BDR mutiny, in its report submitted to the government in May, recommended trying the mutineers under the Army Act for faster trial.

There were also suggestions from some quarters to try the accused under a specially formed tribunal.

But in face of concerns aired by BDR families and rights groups, over whether a fair and open trial could be held under military law or special tribunal, the government formed an inter-ministerial committee to "look at all aspects" before deciding on the trial process.

The government has said the trial of those responsible for the BDR massacre will be conducted according to the constitution and existing laws, either under the BDR Act, the Army Act or civilian laws.

-Asian Tribune-

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