Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) on Wednesday ordered to send Jamaat-e-Islami leader Ghulam Azam to jail rejecting the bail prayer for him.

89-year-old Azam appeared before the tribunal following its order of January 9.

The three-member tribunal headed by Justice Nizamul Haque rejected the bail prayer after a long hearing from both prosecution and defence sides.

The tribunal, however, set February 15 to hear to frame charges against Ghulam Azam, the principal accused of committing crimes against humanity during the country’s War of Liberation in 1971.

The defense counsel Barrister Abdur Razzak prayed bail for Azam on humanitarian ground mentioning his age and health condition. He in this connection referred to the decision taken about Abdul Alim, another war crime suspect.

The Tribunal on March 31 last year granted Alim’s conditional bail considering his health condition, as he is unable to move without other’s help.

Chief prosecutor Advocate Ghulam Arieff Tipoo opposing the defence counsel plea submitted that the cases of Alim and Azam are not of the same nature.

He said the tribunal granted bail for Alim when the investigation agency did not submit any elaborate report about him, but in Azam’s case it is completely different.

Tipoo said the Tribunal already took the charges against Azam into cognizance on Jan 9, where the investigation agency detected 62 specific allegations of his involvement in crimes against humanity during 1971.

The court room was filled to the brim as the Jamaat guru’s hearing began amid palpable tension.

Meanwhile, Ghulam Azam, who was Jamaat’s chief in 1971, was shifted to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) for health check-up from the central Jail.

He was brought to BSMMU at about 3:45pm. However, it could not be confirmed if he had any health-related complaints, the Financial Express (FE), a local newspaper reported.

Various groups gathered on the tribunal premises with placards and festoons demanding trial of Azam.

Meanwhile, security was beefed up across the country, especially on and around the tribunal premises, hours before Azam was scheduled to appear before the court.

BBN/SSR/AD-12Jan12-10:26 am (BST)