27 December 2012: Sayedee Retrial Arguments

Defense Counsel Mizanul Islam submitted arguments for retrial in the case of Chief Prosecutor vs Delwar Hossain Sayedee. The Tribunal instructed the Defense not to repeat the points that his senior colleague Chief Counsel Abdur Razzaq had already made in the Golam Azam case and suggested he make his points specific to Sayedee’s case.  The Defense presented specific instances supporting their request for a retrial:

  • Mizanul Islam claimed that the Tribunal had not acted independently and took Ahmed Ziauddin’s direction Tribunal to curtail the Defence’s right to know about the particulars of the Prosecution Witnesses by amending rule-18 of ICT Act 1973. The Defense cited an e-mail between the former chairman and Mr. Ziauddin dated November 9, 2012 as evidence. 
  • The Defense additionally stated that the Investigation Officer exhibited 269 document and was given 18 sessions to present his testimony. They alleged that after his testimony and with the direction of Ahmed Ziauddin, former Chairman Hoque limited the timeframe for cross-examination and specified documents that the Defense was not allowed to cross-examine. The Defense alleged that they were not given a written order regarding this restriction. Thus Justice Nizamul Huq with the direction of Ahmed Ziauddin deprived Defense team of their rights.   
  • The Defense further alleged that they were not given 3600 pages documents relied on by the Prosecution. Mizanul Islam added that the Defense was not informed of these documents and were told that they have no right to receive copies of these documents or to file any application to obtain said documents.
  • The Defense also stated that they were not given documents relating to an alleged mass graveyard and they were deprived from their rights under sec 16(2) of the ICT Act 1973.
  • The Defense alleged that Sayedee was deprived from his rights under section 17(1) of the ICT Act 1973. He further alleged that after the Charge Framing Order was read out in court Sayedee was asked to plea guilty or not guilty, but that the statement he made in conjunction with his not builty plea was not kept on record.
  • The Defense allged that their witness Sukhorangon Bali was abducted in front of the Tribunal and that the former chairman Nizamul Huq failed to take appropriate action. Mizanul Islam alleged that if the Chairman wished to look into the matter he should view the CCTV camera footage.
  • The Defense concluded that the skype and email conversations made it clear that the former Chairman carried out his duties with the ultimate goal of self promotion. The Defense noted that the Bar Council Order forbids Judges to meet alone with one of the parties to discuss the case. Both parties must be represented in such meetings and therefore the Prosecution and Judge violated the Bar Council Order.
  • The Defense stated that it is unacceptable that the Investigation Officer provided Investigation Reports and submitted the Formal Charge before completing his investigation .
  • The Defense stated that it had previously submitted an application seeking explanation from the former Chairman of Tribunal-1 as to his ability to serve as the Tribunal’s Chief despite his former involvement as a member of People’s Court, Peoples Inquiry Commission and as a war crimes campaigner; and left the matter to his good conscience. The Defense claimed that a 76 pages draft copy of the order was sent by Ahmed Ziauddin and that the former Chairman Nizamul Huq copied the draft copy and passed the order with some minor changes. In doing so the former Chairman of Tribunal-1 broke his oath of office on November 28, 2011 by passing the order when the order had come from Brussels. The Defense claimed that this breaking of his oath meant that the ceased to be a judge and all his subsequent actions must be annulled.
  • The Defense argued that Sayedee was prejudiced by the former Chairman of Tribunal-1 as he worked as per Ahmed Ziauddin’s dictation and did not act as an independent member of the judicialry. Mizanul Islam requested the Tribunal to talk with the former Judge Zaheer Ahmed regarding the writing of the Charge Framing Order. He also requested the Tribunal to listen the recorded skype conversations outside of the media’s presence.

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