The International Crimes Tribunal-1 will deliver its judgment in the war crimes case against fugitive accused Zahid Hossain Khokon, mayor of the Nagarkanda municipality of Faridpur district, today (Thursday).
Justice M Enayetur Rahim, chairman of the three-member tribunal, on Wednesday fixed the date for delivering the verdict after keeping the case waiting for verdict for seven months.
Khokon, BNP leader, is
facing 11 charges of crimes against humanity including mass murder, arson, rape, loot and forcible religious conversion of Hindus to Muslims in 1971. He has been absconding ever since the war crimes investigators started their probe.
Allegations of killing at least 50 people, torching of numerous houses and two temples, deportation of seven people and raping two women in collaboration with the Pakistan occupation army are there. The tribunal on October 9, 2013 indicted him in absentia.
According to the prosecution, Khokon led the Razakar Bahini, an auxiliary force of the Pakistani army, in Faridpur district in 1971.
On April 17, the tribunal kept the verdict pending to be delivered any day after closing legal arguments from both sides over the war crimes case.
According to the investigation agency, Khokon, a close associate of fugitive Maulana Abul Kalam Azad alias Bachchu Razakar, a condemned war crimes convict from Faridpur, had taken part in an election campaign for a Jamaat-e-Islami candidate in 1970, and was involved with the party. Later, he joined BNP and became the vice-president of its Nagarkanda unit.
He was elected mayor to the Nagarkanda Municipality in 2011. After taking the oath for the mayoral post, he went into hiding and the investigation agency "assumed" that he is now in Sweden with his son and daughter.
On June 23, 2013, the prosecution submitted to the tribunal formal war crimes charges against him. The prosecution produced 24 prosecution witnesses to prove the charges made against the accused.
Advocate Mukhlesur Rahman Badal conducted the case for the prosecution while A Shukur Khan for the fugitive accused as state defence counsel.