Professor Ghulam Azam

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Toby Cadman speaks at European Parliament

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Toby Cadman, an experienced International Criminal Lawyer, spoke at the European Parliament on the 31st January 2012 on the subject of the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh. Other speakers at the event included an ICT prosecution team member and  the Bangladeshi Ambassador to the EU amongst others.

While those representing Bangladesh focused on the “culture of impunity” which has resulted in a lack of justice for many thousands of Bangladeshis, they failed to address the fundamental flaws in the ICT trial and its proceedings. Due to the propensity for accusing lawyers and commentators of “contempt of court”, it was necessary to emphasise that there was no intention of trying to prevent the trials from taking place.  Toby Cadman focussed his argument on the lack of international standards at the trial, the fact that the court does not uphold national standards nor comply with the international treaties it is nominally party to.

He also highlighted the inadequate time given to the defence to prepare their case, the lack of impartiality of the judges, and the lack of protection for defence witnesses and lawyers. The standard of evidence accepted by the court is also far below what would be expected in a capital case where the outcome is likely to be death by hanging. Indeed the court and some ministers have seemed to pre-ordain the outcome of the trial by suggesting the trial is unnecessary The foreign counsel for the defence have also been denied entry into Bangladesh to assist the local team.

He summarises his arguments in an excellent short article found here.

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