Former Bangladeshi minister charged with war crimes
Bangladesh on Monday indicted a former government minister for war crimes allegedly committed during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan, court officials said.
A special court investigating war crimes brought 17 charges against Abdul Alim including genocide, murder, confinement and other crimes against humanity during the nine-month war.
Alim, a former legislator of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, is the seventh suspect charged by the court. All are political rivals of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The three-judge panel set July 9 for opening the prosecution's case against Alim, public prosecutor Rana Das Gupta said.
Alim, who was arrested in March 2011, pleaded not guilty.
Some historians put the death during the war at 3 million. Hasina's government launched the war crimes court in 2010.
The prime minister's father was independence leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The opposition Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and Bangladesh Nationalist Party allege that the trials are politically motivated.
An earlier initiative to prosecute war crimes was called off in 1975 when the new country's first prime minister, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was assassinated.