Abdul Latif, a native of Mymensingh arrested in a case filed over crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War, has expressed an interest in becoming a state witness.
This is the first time in Bangladesh’s history that a suspected war criminal wants to become a state witness and is willing to turn in his cohorts to the law.
Latif made the plea through his lawyer Shukur Ali at the International Crimes Tribunal, led by its chairman Justice Md Shahinur Islam on Tuesday. A hearing on the matter is scheduled to be held on January 17 next year.
Prosecutor Shahedur Rahman and Rezia Sultana represented the state in the tribunal.
Briefing the media, Shahedur later said: “Latif is one the accused in the case and he wants to become a state witness. He expressed interest in confessing crimes committed by him and his cohorts.
“A hearing will be held in this regard, and final decision will be taken after that hearing.”
On November 22, Abdul Latif surrendered before the tribunal in a case filed over crimes against humanity. The accused in this case face charges of murder, looting, arson, abduction, torture, and several other war crimes.
A state witness is a person who confesses a crime and accuses one or more of his cohorts for reduced punishment or clemency. An accomplice to a felony who confesses his or her guilt and gives evidence against his or her confederates can also be termed a state witness.
This article was first published on Bangla Tribune