Tuesday, March 19, 2019 | ePaper
British lawyer for Khaleda : BNP comes under scrutiny
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party matched itself with Jamaat-e-Islami on their position on war crime trials, as they appointed Lord Alex Carlile as a legal adviser to Khaleda Zia, said Shahriar Kabir, president of Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee.
Awami League leader Mohammed Nasim viewed the initiative by the BNP as a strategy to 'become friendlier' with its old ally Jamaat-e-Islami. BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said they also want to draw the attention of international community to the case against Khaleda, besides receiving legal aid from Lord Carlile, the British legal expert who happens to be a member of the House of Lords. BNP Chairperson Khaleda ended up in jail for five years after she was convicted of embezzling foreign funds donated for orphans. The Supreme Court stayed her four months' bail granted by the High Court. The Appellate Division suspended Khaleda's bail until May 8, following appeals opened by the government and the graft watchdog.
The BNP then announced the appointment of Lord Carlile as its legal adviser following the order of the Supreme Court. The appointment of the British lawyer, who earlier criticised the judicial system in Bangladesh for handing death sentences to Jamaat leaders who committed war crimes in 1971, drew sharp reactions from the leaders of the ruling Awami League. In appointing the British lawyer, the BNP opted for someone who stood for Mir Kashem Ali, a war criminal, only to cling to Jamaat-e-Islami, said AL leader Mohammed Nasim.
"Khaleda appointed a foreigner as her legal aide, as she does not trust her own lawyers; moreover, that lawyer is none other than the notorious legal expert from London who stood for Mir Kashem Ali, a war criminal of 1971," said Nasim. "They (BNP) brought in the lobbyist of a war criminal to Dhaka which means Khaleda Zia is still on great terms with Jamaat and the war criminals," he said.
"BNP proved they hold the same point of view as they had during the trial of those who committed genocide in 1971 by appointing Lord Carlile as the legal aide for Khaleda Zia's case; BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami stay on the same ground," said Shahriar Kabir when asked by bdnews24.com. "What makes us angry is the fact Lord Carlile is not only a lawyer but also a member in the House of Lords in Britain, the house that condemned the genocide in 1971; the British government, its people, even the British media condemned it," he said.