3 January 2013: Tribunal 2 Daily Summary

Tribunal 2 heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Qader Molla -Defense petition for review of order dying permission to produce additional witnesses
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid – Cross examination of Prosecution Witness #11 [See here for more detail]
  3. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammad Kamaruzzaman – application for retrial hearing [see here for more detail]
  • The Counsel for Defense made request for a later hearing date of the review application filed a for reconsideration of the tribunal’s decision denying the permission to produce additional defense witnesses. The request was immediately denied orally, along with the request for two hours of time for enabling the Senior Defense Counsel to appear. The Tribunal required the Counsel for Defense to make submissions instantaneously. The Tribunal rejected the review application reasoning that the ICT rules of procedure contain no provision allowing the defense to call additional witnesses and noting that only the prosecution may do so. The Tribunal further stated that the application was virtually identical to one rejected earlier, and that it must have been submitted in order to cause delay in the proceedings. The rejection was accompanied by a sanction of 10,000 BDT imposed on the Defense for submitting repetitive applications.
  • The court then moved to Mujahid’s case wherein the prosecution witness PW-11, Mr Foyez Uddin Ahmad, was cross examined by the defense counsel. The core line of questioning was aimed at attacking the reliability and credibility of the witness’s testimony, suggesting that the testimony is fabricated and based on the coaching of the Prosecution, and that the witness neither knew the accused, nor was he capable of recognizing him.
  • Finally, the Court heard at length the application filed on behalf of Muhammad Kamaruzzam for the recall of the order by which the Tribunal took cognizance of the charges against him and for a full and complete retrial. The Defense argued that the perception of bias created by the leaked Skype and email conversations between the former ICT 1 Chairman and outside legal expert Dr. Ziauddin prejudiced the Accused’s right to fair trial and therefore necessitate a retrial. They supported these arguments with international legal precedents.  The court denied the application, firmly rejecting any such possibility of bias and condemning the content of Skype conversation. They stated that the statements in the Skype conversations were at all true, they reflected only on the former Chairman and Dr. Ziauddin. The Tribunal then passed  a suo moto order requiring Mr Ziaduddin, the Brussels based Bangladeshi international law expert, to explain, within 30 days from the receipt of this order, why contempt proceedings shall not be commence for his Skype conversations with the retired chairman of ICT-1 and the appearance that he was attempting to interfere with the independence of the tribunal. Prosecution witness PW-16 who was present expressed his inability to give testimony on that day due to his sudden illness.