DHAKA (AFP) - A special Bangladeshi court on Wednesday opened its first case against an Islamic leader charged with atrocities during the 1971 war. The first trial at the Bangl-adesh International Crimes Tribunal, which was set up last year to try people over war crimes, is of 71-year-old Delwar Hossain Sayedee. Sayedee, a senior official of Jamaat-e-Islami, the country's largest Islamic party, has been accused of killing more than 50 people, torching villages, rape and looting. Judge Nizamul Huq opened proceedings in Dhaka and immediately adjourned the court until August 18, when formal charges will be read out. Sayedee's lawyers argued that they needed more time to prepare for the next hearing, saying that documents provided by the prosecution were "illegible". "The new date is not giving us sufficient time - we requested eight weeks," Tanvir Ahmed Al Amin told AFP. "The prosecution had many months to prepare, we've had weeks, it is not practical. We will have one day to consult with our client ahead of the next hearing." Rival politicians have dismissed the tribunal as a "show trial" motivated by her ambitions and have pointed out that all of those accused of war crimes are opposition leaders. New York-based campaign group Human Rights Watch has said rules being used to prosecute the suspects fall short of international standards.