Today ICT 1 heard matters in the following cases:
- Contempt Proceedings – against Defense counsel Tajul Islam
- Chief Prosecutor vs Salauddin Quader Chowdhury – Prosecution Case-in-Chief
- Chief Prosecutor vs Motiur Rahman Nizami – Defense Case-in-Chief
- Chief Prosecutor vs Delwar Hossain Sayedee – Contempt Proceedings brought by Defense against ATN News and BTV
- Chief Prosecutor vs Golam Azam – Defense Case-in-Chief
None of the Accused were present in the courtroom today.
On October 22, 2012 the court began contempt proceedings against Defense Counsel Tajul Islam and barred him from entering into ICT 1. The Tribunal had also served show-cause notices against Defense counsel Tanvir Ahmed Al-Amin and Mizanul Islam on November 6. On November 23, 2012 the former law minister and BNP leader, Moudud Ahmed, offered an unqualified apology on behalf of Tajul Islam and the other defense counsel and begged forgiveness of the court. On November 23, 2012 the Tribunal scheduled January 10 for passing its order on the matter and lifted the bar against Tajul Islam appearing in Tribunal 1, but still barred him from presenting submissions before the Tribunal. Today (January 10, 2013) Tribunal-1 rescheduled January 15, 2013 for passing the order.
Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury
Today, Ahsanul Huq Hena, Defense counsel for Salauddin Qader Chowdhury sought adjournment and Tribunal allowed the prayer and adjourned the case till January 14, 2013.
Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami
Mizanul Islam, Defense Counsel of Nizami sought adjournment for today (January 10, 2013) as Nizami was absent from the Tibunal. Mizanul Islam said before the Tribunal that yesterday (January 9, 2013) was fixed for Motiur Rahman Nizami’s case. Prosecutor Iqbal Hossain submitted that there was a common understanding that the case would continue even if Nizami was absent. The Tribunal adjourned the case until January 20, 2013.
Chief Prosecutor vs. Delwar Hossain Sayedee
Today was fixed for hearing proceedings filed by Defense Counsel of Delwar Hossain Sayedee against ATN News and BTV. Tanvir Ahmed Al-Amin submitted before the Tribunal that when Tribunal fixed the date for the resubmission of closing arguments ATN News broadcast interviews of the prosecution witnesses. The Defense alleged that in this programme Sayedee was described by the host as a criminal and war criminal, despite the fact that Saydee has pled not guilty and has not been convicted of any crime up to this point. Relying on section 11(4) of the ICT Act 1973, the Defense sought an order against the media agencies. The Defense argued that these programs prejudiced the Defense case.
Justice Jahangir Hossain interjected that the Tribunal will give judgment on the basis of the merits of the case alone and will not rely on any TV interview or program. The Defense further submitted that BTV also broadcast a similar program. In support of this application Defence submitted a CD and requested that the Tribunal watch the footage of the shows. The tribunal fixed January 14, 2013 for issuing an order.
Chief Prosecutor vs. Professor Golam Azam
Defense Counsel for Golam Azam also filed an application seeking the disqualification of Chief Prosecutor Zead-al-Malum. The Defense requested that the Tribunal hear this application along with a similar application being made in Salauddin Quader Chowdhury’s case. The Defense counsel for Chowdhury filed an application on December 19, 2012 for the removal of the Prosecutor Zead-al-Malum. These applications are based on references to Zead-al-Malum made in the Skype conversations between former Chairman Nizamul Hoque and foreign legal expert Ahmed Ziauddin. The Defense claims that these conversations show collusion between the Prosecution and the judges. The Tribunal fixed January 14, for the hearing of these applications.
Outside the Courtroom
Today, Chairman ATM Fazle Kabir returned from leave and was present at the Tribunal. At one point the Tribunal was informed that Sayedee was experiencing chest pains (He was present in the building but not in the courtroom). Defense Counsel sought the Tribunal’s permission for Sayedee to leave the Tribunal premises and return to custody. Tribunal granted the request.