U.K., U.S. citizens indicted in Dhaka

AFP-JIJI

Bangladesh’s war crimes court Thursday indicted a Bangladesh-born British Muslim leader and a U.S. citizen for their alleged role in the murder of top intellectuals during the country’s 1971 liberation war.

Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin has held positions in a host of top Islamic organizations in his adopted homeland and was involved in the setting-up of the Muslim Council of Britain.

The London-based former journalist, who denies any wrongdoing, was a newspaper reporter in the impoverished South Asian country when what was then East Pakistan broke away from West Pakistan.

He is accused of being a leading member of the notorious Al-Badr militia and of the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami political party, which fought for the country to remain part of Pakistan. Mueen-Uddin would face the death penalty if extradited and convicted.

The court on Thursday also indicted Ashrafuzzaman Khan, a United States citizen, on the same charges as Mueen-Uddin. Prosecutor Syed Haider Ali said that Khan, a Dhaka University student leader who is believed now to be in New York, was the “chief executor” for the Al-Badr militia.