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BANGLADESH/SOUTH ASIA-Bangladesh War Crimes Probe Agency Fails To Perform Due to Lack of Logistics

Released on 2013-03-11 00:00 GMT

Email-ID 753138
Date 2011-06-19 12:40:15
From dialogbot@smtp.stratfor.com
To translations@stratfor.com
BANGLADESH/SOUTH ASIA-Bangladesh War Crimes Probe Agency Fails To
Perform Due to Lack of LogisticsBangladesh War Crimes Probe Agency Fails To Perform Due to Lack of
Logistics
Report by Rozina Islam: Investigating Agency Suffers From Poor Logistics
– Prothom Alo
Saturday June 18, 2011 09:49:18 GMT
It is known from the sources related to investigation that the
investigation agency was formed without its organizational structure. As a
result, members of the investigation agency are not getting required
workforce, accommodation, technical and other supports. It cannot use
required money as there is no provisions that endorses the investigation
agency to allocate and spend money for own purposes. The ministry did not
execute yet the proposal approved verbally earlier to provide special
allowance to the members of the investigation agency.When asked, Iqbal Khan Chowdhury additional secretary of the Home Ministry
and coordinator of the investigation agency, told the newspaper that
efforts are on to provide what the investigation agency wanted from the
ministry. Regarding the money going back to the ministry, he said “It is
not good to spend in anyway if there is money. As the investigation agency
could not use the fund it got, so it is quite normal that the money will
go back as per the rule.”The government formally began trial process of those who were accused of
committing crimes against humanity (during 1971 liberation war) by forming
tribunal on March 25 last year (2010) amid much hue and cry . Three out of
the total members have not yet joined the work though 20 officials have
been appointed so far. One official was axed from the investigation
agency. The government could not appoint officials so far against four
vacant posts.

When asked about the progress of the tribunal’s work, the executive
president of Ekattorer Ghatok-Dalal Nirmul Committee (committee for
elimination of killers and collaborators of 1971), Shahriar Kabir said ‘we
have been saying it from the very first that the investigation agency
should be given the power to spend the fund allocated by the Finance
Ministry for the agency. If necessary, the Home Ministry would carry out
yearly audit of the spent money. They did not pay heed to our demand. As a
result, there is no advancement in the work of the tribunal.’ He also said
that the return of unused fund due to their failure in spending for proper
purpose is very unfortunate when allocation of Taka 50 million for the
investigation agency is inadequate.

‘There is slow pace in the function of the investigation agency. We wanted
to work fast but the work has been going on sluggishly as the ministry
could not cope with our speed’ Acting Coordinator of the investigation
agency Sanaul Haq told the Prothom Alo. He also said that the taka 5o
million fund allocated for the investigation agency remained under the
Home Ministry. Th e agency has no right to spend the money. The Agency
spent only taka 10 million out of total allocation, the rest of the amount
remains unused. So the money will go back.

Sanaul Haq said members of the investigation agency are supposed to get
special allowances but they are not getting any allowance. We are sending
letters almost everyday to the ministry seeking workforce and technical
assistance but there is no response. What the investigation agency wants:

Letters were sent to the Home Ministry seeking quite a good number of
books and other publications, chief researcher for intensive study and
review, computers, different reports and, local and foreign books to prove
the crimes against humanity. At the same time, a proposal has been given
to establish a research center. Driver, police inspector, total
cooperation from respective district police superintendent and officer
in-charge during visit of tribunal members and proving of risk-allowance
are also in the demand letters. Special allowance:

All the employees of the investigation agency are supposed to get 125
percent special allow ance of their basic salary to encourage them to do
work with risk. There was no response in this regard though the agency
sent request letters for 7 times to the concerned authority. An official
of the investigation agency said the officials who were posted here from
different organizations and have been working with risk were given
commitment to provide them special allowance. Witness protection act

: None wants to make their deposition without proper protection. An
investigation officer told on this issue that all of the accused are
influential. Many witnesses are afraid of giving deposition fearing
possible harassment after change of government. The government even could
not prepare draft of witness protection act till the date. The provision
to maintain secrecy of women witnesses is also quite important. It would
be difficult to ma nage witness if there is no law in this regard. No
female investigation officer:

There would be quite a good number of women witnesses in the trial of
crime against humanity. Female investigation officer is necessary for
obvious reasons. Because, it would be difficult for a women victim of
Liberation War to give her deposition in front of male due to social
ground. Though a female investigation officer has been appointed in the
investigation agency, she can not be included in the agency as yet there
is no gazette notification in this regard. Investigation work:

The investigation agency is collecting evidences against those who were
accused of committing crimes against humanity. After commencement of the
investigation agency, lawyers and members of the agency first went outside
the capital Dhaka — Chuknagar area of Khulna district — for collecting
evidences and information. After then , delegation consisting of members
of the investigation agency, and members of lawyers panel (prosecutors)
visited Khulna , Chittagong , Pirojpur, Comilla and Mymensingh. And then
the delegation visited Sherpur, Comilla, Bagerhat and Pabna. Besides,
investigation team had collected evidences and information from Liberation
War Museum , National Museum and Bangla Academy .

(Description of Source: Dhaka Prothom Alo in Bengali  The largest
circulated daily in Bangladesh known for objective reporting. Generally
read by young people and the intelligentsia. This newspaper has no
particular political affiliation but is anti-Islamist. Owned by industrial
and marketing conglomerate TRANSCOM, which also publishes The Daily Star
in English. Estimated circulation 250,000.)

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