The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has rejected the allegation against the government of “committing mass killing and crimes against humanity”.
“The prosecutor of the ICC has recently informed us through a letter that there is no legal basis of such allegations,” Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali told journalists at a press conference at his office yesterday.
The foreign minister added this proved that the BNP-Jamaat and its associates were engaged in spreading falsehood against Bangladesh and its people.
Anti-liberation force Jamaat in particular is carrying out such ill attempts to cover up its mass killings, rapes, arson and crimes against humanity committed in 1971, he said.
In early 2014, an Islamist rights group urged the ICC in the Netherlands to investigate the “crimes against humanity” committed by the Bangladesh government in persecuting political foes before, during and after the December 5 elections that year.
British lawyer Toby Cadman filed the request on behalf of the International Coalition for Freedoms of Rights in February 2014.
It is not clear if BNP-Jamaat has any direct link with this group.
Cadman has represented Jamaat-e-Islami in the past, while the rights group was formed in Istanbul in 2013 after a military coup removed Egypt's president Mohammed Morsi from office.
Cadman was one of the three foreign lawyers Jamaat engaged to defend its leaders facing charges of crimes against humanity and genocide committed during the Liberation War in 1971.
In August 2011, the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport authorities sent back the British legal expert from the airport, following an intelligence report against him.
Later, Cabman was seen speaking against the Bangladesh war crimes trial in different international forums.
Diplomatic sources said ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who has the authority to decide about launching an investigation after studying the application, has rejected it.
The ICC investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.