Tony Cadman Blog

International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh: Toby Cadman Speaks at Roundtable Discussion on War Crimes

The New Nation Bangladesh: International Standard Not Followed

ICT seems to be a political tool

International expert on war crimes issue Toby Cadman, now visiting Dhaka, has said all parties involved in the 1971 Liberation War, whether they are freedom fighters or pro-Pakistani elements, should face prosecution in case of committing crimes against international humanitarian law. In a written statement released on Sunday, Cadman, former Head of the Prosecution Section for War Crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina, made the remarks responding to a number of critical comments against him at a roundtable discussion held in the city on March 3. It is alleged that inflammatory comments were made against him at the function but he was not given any opportunity to respond to those, Cadman claimed, adding that he attended the roundtable on invitation of US Ambassador-at-Large on War Crimes Issues Stephen J Rapp but his presence was criticised without giving him scope to respond. "Neither striving for nor opposing the independence should be considered as crime. Only those, who bear criminal responsibility of violations of international humanitarian law, should stand trial," added Cadman. He said, the Tribunal has the opportunity of showing the world a model of judicial process, but, as it currently stand, the court could be seen as nothing more than a tool of political retribution. "To the date, the Tribunal has not abided by international standards of justice, he said. "A state which has signed up along-side other 144 countries to an internationally agreed standard of conduct is applying rules and procedures, which are fundamentally contradictory to those standards of human rights and justice." About seven weeks passed after Stephen J Rapp recommended some revisions of the crimes act and rules, which may fulfil only minimum level of international standard, but the government was not seen to take an initiative to implement the changes till now, he alleged. "If the trial is proceeded without recommended amendments to the rules and laws, it could set a terrible precedent all over the world," Cadman said. Saying that human rights were being violated thoroughly for the present law and rules, Cadman urged the other countries, who are supporters of democracy and human rights, to come forward to pressurizing the country to change the 1973 crimes law and 2010 rules.