Apr 24, 2014, 3:20 am (BST)
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Cabinet okays International Crimes (Tribunals) (Amendment), Act 2012
DHAKA, April 9 (BSS)- The cabinet today approved the International Crimes (Tribunals) (Amendment), Act 2012 keeping the provision of transferring cases from one tribunal to another to expedite the ongoing trial of war criminals.

The approval was given at the regular cabinet meeting held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

After the meeting, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan briefed reporters. He said the government constituted an international crimes tribunal on March 25 in 2010 under the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973 to try the persons who
committed crimes against humanity during the War of Liberation in
1971, while another tribunal was set up on March 22 this year to
expedite the trial process.

The cabinet secretary said the government amended the existing International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973 as there is no provision of transferring cases from one tribunal to another in the act.

Following the amendment, he said, the tribunal could transfer any case under its own initiative or following petition of the chief prosecutor.

"The proposed act will be promulgated as an ordinance soon as the parliament is not in session now," the cabinet secretary said.

The cabinet also okayed two agreements to be signed with Turkey during the upcoming official visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on April 11-13.

The deals are 'The Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matter' and 'The Agreement on Mutual Abolition of Visas for Holders of Diplomatic, Service/Official and Special Passports'.

Under the first agreement, customs related information would be shared between Bangladesh and Turkey to check illegal trade and smuggling. It will also help to increase efficiency of the customs officials as well as customs-related intelligence activities. The second deal is aimed at abolition of visas of the persons of the two countries holding diplomatic, service/official and special passports. Under the existing arrangements, the persons with above categories of passports can visit and stay up to 90 days without visas to each other country.

Besides, the cabinet was apprised of the participation of Bangladesh delegation led by the water resources minister in the Ministerial Conference of the 6th World Water Forum held in France on March 12-17.

The cabinet was also informed about the participation of the
environment and forest minister in the programmes titled 'The
Announcement of A New Climate Change and Clean Air Initiative held in the USA' on Feb 16 and 'The 12th Session of the Governing Council /Global Ministerial Environment Forum' held in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Feb 20-23.

Cabinet members, advisers to the Prime Minister, state ministers concerned attended the meeting, while cabinet secretary and secretaries concerned were present.
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