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Dhaka Tribune

Prosecution team’s ‘illegal’ meeting intensifies feud

Update : 16 Mar 2014, 07:56 PM

A section of the prosecution team of the war crimes tribunal has again called for a meeting without getting prior consent from the chief prosecutor who, like the previous time, cancelled it labelling the meeting as “illegal.”

When senior prosecutor Rheshikesh Saha convened a meeting bypassing Chief Prosecutor Golam Arif Tipoo, he claimed that he had done so upon directive of MK Rahman, chief coordinator of the prosecution team, also an additional attorney general.

Cancelling such a meeting for the second time in a week, Tipoo said none of the prosecutors could call a meeting without his consent.

He said: “This is totally illegal to convene a meeting this away. If anyone tries to foil the image of the trial, the authorities will have to take a strong position on this.”

On last Monday, a similar incident took place when at least 14 prosecutors out of 22 were present in a meeting. The chief coordinator attended the meeting. The absent prosecutors then called it a command failure, and warned that it might be harmful for the whole team.

The law minister on Saturday said he would soon sit with the prosecutors and fix the matter. Pro-trial activists have showed disappointment and displeasure as the prosecution’s division has become public.

Tipoo did not attend the meeting yesterday when the same 14 prosecutors were present. None of the prosecutors faced the media after the meeting.

Seeking anonymity, one of the prosecutors present at the meeting said it was a routine meeting. Prosecutor Mohammad Ali raised the issue of his recent interview with a television channel where he made negative remarks about the prosecution team, particularly about prosecutor Tureen Afroz.

The meeting also decided that team members would not face the media in the future. Only the chief prosecutor and the chief coordinator would comment on these matters, a mid-level prosecutor told the Dhaka Tribune.

Meeting sources said a proposal was placed to adopt a resolution against the chief prosecutor for his removal from the post. However, it was not accepted by some of the participants.

Tipoo earlier this month wrote to the law ministry for taking proper measures after Tureen had submitted to him a written complaint mentioning Ali’s remarks. The incident triggered other controversial issues and made public several hidden resentments within the team.

Shahriar Kabir, a war crimes case witness and noted writer, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday the government should identify those responsible for the situation and take immediate initiative.

He was astonished to see that the government was reluctant to handle the situation at a time when conflicts within the prosecution team had escalated over the last two weeks. 

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