The International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday directed the civil surgeon of Dhaka to submit a report on the mental condition of a war crimes accused hailing from Comilla.
It asked the civil surgeon to form a medical board to ascertain mental condition of Muhamed Shahidullah, a former Bangalee army official who allegedly worked for Pakistan army during the Liberation War, and submit the report within March 29.
Yesterday was fixed for passing an order whether the tribunal would frame charges against Shahidullah for his alleged war-time offences. Shahidullah, who is now on bail on health grounds, appeared before the court on a stretcher.
SM Shahjahan, a defence counsel for Shahidullah, said his client has been suffering not only from physical ailment, but also from mental impairment.
Shahidullah is incapable of making his defence, if charge is framed, Shahjahan said.
Chief Prosecutor Ghulam Arieff Tipoo said the accused must understand what charges he is going to face, if charges are framed.
But the accused is now mentally impaired as per the defence counsel; therefore, proceedings against him should not go on before his mental state is ascertained, Tipoo said.
Then the tribunal passed the order and asked Shahidullah's son to produce his father before the medical board on the fixed date at the fixed place and time.
On October 30 last year, prosecution pressed three charges against Shahidullah of Comilla's Daudkandi upazila saying that he had involvement in confinement, torture, abduction, looting, arson and killing of at least three people during the war. For the first time, the prosecution had pressed charges against a former army official who worked for Pakistan army during the war in 1971.