1 January 2013: Tribunal 1 Proceedings

4 Items appeared in the Cause List:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Professor Golam Azam – for further hearing of applications and arguments
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Salahuddin Qader Chowdhury – for hearing application and prosecution witness
  3. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami – for hearing application and prosecution witness
  4.  Chief Prosecutor vs. Delawar Hossain Sayedee (DHS) – for hearing application

Tribunal-1 completed hearing arguments from both sides on re-trial petition and fixed January 3, 2013 for delivering its order in all three cases.

Abdur Razzaq responded to the Attorney General’s submissions in the cases of Professor Golam Azam, Motiur Rahman Nizami and Delawar Hossain Sayedee. Barrister Rafiqul Islam Miah placed his submission before the Tribunal on behalf of Golam Azam. [SEE HERE FOR DETAILED SUMMARY]

Defense counsel for Salauddin Qader Chowdhury [SEE HERE FOR DETAILED SUMMARY]

Defense Submissions in the Case of Golam Azam, Nizami and Sayedee
Razzaq argued that the Skype and email conversations between the former Chairman and Dr. Ziauddin were not extraneous and must be considered as grounds for a retrial. He stated that the sections of the ICT Act of 1973 that provide the Tribunal with the authority to appoint administrative personnel could not be used to appoint someone providing legal advice such as Dr. Ziauddin. Furthermore, such appointments may not be secret. The Defense further argued that the Prosecution’s argument that the Defense is benefitting from its own wrongful act does not apply here because the Defense obtained the skype and email conversations legally from public sources such as media publications. He stated that the right to privacy does not prevent the court from examining these conversations because they are relevant evidence and the Defense’s reference to them does not go against Tribunal 2’s order barring their republication because the Defense is not a media entity. Finally, Razzaq argued that numerous anomolies resulting from the relationship between the former Chairman and Dr. Ziauddin had violated the Accused’s right to fair trial. He noted that the international community would scrutinize the results of the trial.

Defense Submission by Barrister Rafiqul Islam Miah on behalf of Golam Azam
The Tribunal’s inherent power under 46A of the International Crimes Tribunal Rules of Procedure 2010 has no limits. There is only one limitation that the Tribunal will not be able to exercise his inherent power where it is not necessary for the ends of justice or to prevent abuse of process. He further argued that ‘justice should not only be done but must be seen to be done’, a legal maxim.

 Defense Submissions in the Case of Salauddin Qader Chowdhury
Today the Defence counsel for Salauddin Qader Chowdhury presented arguments. They filed four applications included one asking the Tribunal for an order clarifying that its judges were not party to any of the skype conversations between the former Chairman and Dr. Ziauddin. Other applications included initiating contempt proceedings against Law Minister for influencing the proceedings, summoning the former Chairman of the Tribunal-1 to testify, and seeking removal of the prosecutor Zead-al-Malum.  The courtroom dynamic became very heated and there were verbal altercations between the prosecution and the defense, as well as outbursts from the Accused who was present in the courtroom.