News Bangladesh MP charged with war crimes

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Mar 5, 2010
DHAKA: Bangladeshi prosecutors have filed war crimes charges against a second opposition leader, accusing him of genocide and murder during the country's 1971 liberation struggle, an official said Tuesday.

Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, a senior lawmaker with the main opposition
Bangladesh Nationalist Party has also been accused of looting and facilitating rape, prosecutor Syed Haider Ali said.

Ali said Chowdhury -- the highest ranking BNP lawmaker to be investigated by the tribunal -- is directly implicated in the murder of a high-profile Hindu businessman.
"We have found evidence that he turned his father's Chittagong residence as a torture cell during the war," Ali said, adding Chowdhury's father was a strong supporter of Pakistan and opposed then-East Pakistan's secession.

Last month, the tribunal charged its first suspect -- Delawar Hossain Sayedee, a leader of an Islamic party -- with atrocities including genocide, rape and religious persecution. Sayedee is being held in detention along with four other suspects from his Jamaat-e-Islami party and two more, including Chowdhury, from the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

Bangladesh's government claims some three million people were killed during the nine-month long struggle. Independent researchers say the figure is far lower.