17 Jan 2013: ICT 1 Daily Summary – Sayedee Prosecution Closing Arguments

The Tribunal heard the following case:

Chief Prosecutor vs. Delwar Hossein Sayedee

On behalf of the Prosecution, Haider Ali submitted the Prosecution’s final arguments, addressing Charges 17-19.

Haider Ali began by reading out the  Daily Jonokontho dated 5 March 2001 (Ext-08) regarding incident at Sajuddin Poshari and the killing of Fayzur Rahman (charge 5) and Aziz; the looting of shops in Bipod Shaha, Modon Shaha and Makhon Shaha; and general allegations of looting, burning houses, torturing people, forced conversion of Hindus, and killing of Hindus. He read out Exhibit -48,  the Daily Azad , dated 3 February 1972 relating to Charge 18. He read out Exhibit-12, the Daily Shamakal, and  Exhibit-46, a newspaper dated 17 July 2010; as well as Exhibit  47 dated 14 April 2001.

He then focused on the individual charges and the prosecution’s evidence in support of each one.

Charge 17:
Under Charge 17 Sayedee is accused of committing the offense of rape which is considered as crime against humanity under section 3(2)(a) of the ICT Act 1973. The Prosecution has sought to prove that Sayedee along with other armed Razakars confined Bipod Shaha’s daughter Vanu Shaha in Bipod Shaha’s house and regularly used to go there to rape her.

Haider Ali submitted that four witnesses provided testimony in support of this charge: Mizanur Rahman Talukdar (PW-3), Sultan Ahmed Hawlader (PW-4), Mahtab Uddin Hawlader (PW-5), Altaf Hawlader (PW-9), and MP Akma Awal (PW-12).

Charge No 18:
Haider Ali stated that under Charge 18, Sayedee is accused of abetting torture and murder under section 3(2)(a)(g) of the ICT Act.

The Prosecution has produced one witness who gave testimony in support of this charge: MP Akma Awal (PW-12). The Investigation Officer also exhibited Daily Vorer Kajoj dated 4 November 2007, the Daily Azad dated 3 Febuary 1972 and Bangladesh Liberation War Documents, Vol-8 (page 385-386) as evidence. In addition, the Investigation Officer exhibited the out-of-court statements of Gonesh Chandra Shaha (EXT-267), which the Tribunal accepted as evidence under section 19(2) of the ICT Act 1973. Haider Ali noted that the Defense had subsequently been called by the Defense and given in-court testimony. Haider ali read out the two statements given by the witness and pointed out contradictions between the two statements.

Charge 19:
Haider Ali stated that under Charge 19 Sayedee is accused of compelling Hindus to convert to Islam and compelling them to go to the mosque to say prayers. He stated that this is considered a crime against humanity and punishable under section 3(2)(a) of the ICT Act 1973.

Haider Ali stated that the Prosecution had called 5 witnesses to provide testimony in support of the charge: Modhu Sudon Gharami (PW-23), Gourango Chandra Shaha (PW-13), Ruhul Amin Nobin (PW-2), Mizanur Rahman Talukdar (PW-3), and Sultan Ahmed Howladar (PW-4). Additionally,the Investigation Officer exhibited Daily Jugantor dated 5 March 2001 as evidence. The Investigation Officer also exhibited the out-of-court statements of Ajith Kumar Sheal (EXT-264), which the Tribunal accepted as evidence under section 19(2) of the ICT Act 1973.

Addressing the Defense Case
Haider Ali then turned to the Defense’s case and addressed the evidence they had presented in support of the Accused’s innocence. The Defense produced 17 witnesses. Among them 5 were from Jossore district, 3 were freedom fighters, 3 from the village Hoglabunia, 1 was the son of the Sayedee. Haider Ali read out transcripts of the examination-in-chief and cross-examination of DW-6, 4, 12 and 14. He submitted that PW-15 and 16 gave testimony against the alibi claim. He submitted that the statement of Samsul Alam Talukder (DW-1) did not support the Defense’s case. He further stated that Khoshrul Alam (DW-5) contradicted himself and was not credible on that basis. Haider Ali submitted that according to Exhibit-151 during the Liberation War in 1971 Sayedee had only one son, whereas DW-4 said at that time he had two sons. He submitted that DW-13 claimed that Sayedee was a writer, but Sayedee’s passport shows that he was a teacher and businessman. Hattacked the statement of Jamal Hossen (DW-7), who testified regarding the place where the dead body of Ibrahim Kutti was found, arguing that it was unrealistic.

Regarding the out-of-court witness statements accepted under 19(2) of the ICT Act, Haider Ali argued that these 16 Prosecution Witness statements should carry the same weight as live witnesses. Regarding 19(2) of the ICT Act, he submitted that this section can function independently and is not affected by other provisions. He submitted that section 8(9) of the ICT Act 1973 stated that any investigation into the crimes specified in section 3(crimes against humanity, crimes against peace, genocide and war crimes) shall be deemed to have been done under provisions of this Act. He further submitted that section 8(6) of the ICT Act stated that the Investigation Officer may reduce into writing any statement made to him in the course of examination under this section. Therefore, Haider Ali asserted that these two sections also supported the legitimacy of accepting such statements under section 19(2) of ICT Act. He further submitted that the Defense was provided with the opportunity to cross-examine the Investigation Officer regarding these 19(2) witness statements to their satisfaction. He further stated that these 19(2) witness statements did not contradict the testimony of live witnesses.

Haider Ali concluded, stating that the Prosecution had successfully proved the 19 charges against Sayedee beyond a reasonable doubt. He requested that the Tribunal award the death sentence.

The Tribunal scheduled January 20, 21 and 22 for the Defense’s Closing Arguments.