Monthly Archives: January 2013

28 Jan 2013: ICT 1- Sayedee Defense Closing Arguments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Prosecutor vs. Azharul Islam (Investigatory Stage)
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Delwar Hossain Sayedee: Defense Resubmission of Closing Arguments (Accused Present)

The Prosecution filed an application requesting permission to interrogate Azharul Islam at the Witness Safe House for two days. Defense counsel for Azharul Islam submitted that there is no reasonable cause to take their client to the safe house. They argued that the Investigation Authority can interrogate him at the jail and requested the Tribunal to pass an order on February 5, 2013, as that was the date fixed for the prosecution’s submission of the investigation’s progress report. The Tribunal fixed February 5, 2013 for order.

In the Sayedee case Abdur Razzaq continued the Defense’s Closing Arguments, addressing legal points for the 3rd consecutive day. The Prosecution began its reply to the Defense’s final arguments.

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27 Jan 2013: ICT 1 Daily Summary – Sayedee Defense Closing Arguments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Mir Qasem Ali: Application for Medical Transport of Accused (Accused Not Present)
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Delwar Hossain Sayedee: Resubmission of Defense Closing Arguments (Accused Present)

Defense Counsel for Mir Qasem Ali filed an application requesting health specialized transport to and from the Tribunal for their client.

Abdur Razzaq, Senior Defense Counsel for Delwar Hossain Sayedee, continued submitting closing arguments on legal points for the 2nd consecutive day. He addressed issues of delay in prosecution, malafide intention of the prosecution, and the elements of the crimes as defined under International Customary Law. 

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24 Jan 2013: ICT 1 Daily Summary – Sayedee, Mubarak Hossain, Chowdhury

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Mubarak Hossain: Report on Progress of Investigation (Accused not Present)
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Delwary Hossain Sayedee: Resubmission of Defense Closing Arguments (Accused Present)
  3. Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury: Application for Contempt Proceedings (Accused not Present)

Tribunal-1 extended the bail period of Mubarak Hossain, whose case is currently in the investigation stage, until February 12, 2013. The Tribunal directed the Prosecution to submit its Progress Report regarding the investigation by February 12, 2013. The Prosecution stated that they received the Investigation Report on January 24, 2013 and need two weeks to submit the Formal Charge.

On January 24, 2013 Mizanul Islam, defense counsel for Delwar Hossain Sayedee completed the Closing Arguments based on the charges and Abdur Razzaq began the defense arguments based on legal points.

The Defense counsel for Salauddin Qader Chowdhury filed an application under section 11(4) of the ICT Act 1973 requesting contempt proceedings be brought against the Daily Jugantor, its editor and publisher Salma Islam, and staff reporter Swapan Dash Gupta.

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24 Jan 2013: ICT 2 Daily Summary – Contempt Proceedings MK Anwar

Today the Tribunal was scheduled to hear matters in the following case:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid: examination-in-chief of prosecution witness (Accused was Present

However, the court first accepted the Prosecution’s submissions for contempt proceedings to be issued against MK Anwar, a political leader of the BNP Party (an opposition party.)

In accordance with the Court’s verbal instructions on 23 January 2013, the Prosecution submitted a written application in regards to a statement made by MK Anwar seeking contempt proceedings to be issued against him. On 20 January 2013 MK Anwar, a day before ICT-2’s first verdict was issued, commented in his speech marking the 77th birth anniversary of late president Ziaur Rahman that the government is staging the ongoing trials as a mechanism of vengeance against the leaders of opposition parties. Mr Rana Das Gupta, the Prosecution counsel, reiterated  that the BNP leader’s comment is a malicious one, aimed to jeopardize the confidence of the masses as to the neutrality, independence and fairness of the tribunal. The prosecutor submitted that unless some sort of action is initiated against him, he is likely to continue to make such comments. He noted that MK Anwar had previously made similar comments, for which he was warned by Tribunal-1.

The Prosecution advocated for punishment of MK Anwar under section 11(4) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973, which accords the tribunal the authority to punish any person who obstructs or abuses its process or disobeys any of its orders or directions, or does anything which tends to prejudice the case of a party before it, or tends to bring it or any of its members into hatred or contempt, or does anything which constitutes contempt of the Tribunal. The Tribunal upon hearing the learned prosecutor retired till lunch to pass an order.

After lunch, the Tribunal pronounced its order requiring MK Anwar to submit an explanation through his lawyers within 7 days. They opined that such comments pertain to subjudice matters, or matters currently under consideration by the Tribunal, and therefore may adversely influence the public perception about the ICT. The Tribunal further observed that the independent judiciary shall be kept segregated from politics in the interest of upholding the rule of law. MK Anwar shall be obliged to submit his explanation no later than 3 February 2013.

It may be noted that Mr Suranjit Sen Gupta, the ruling party’s influential policy maker is also facing contempt proceedings akin to that now faced by Anwar, for previously making comments on sub-judice matters.

Tribunal-2 did not hear the examination-in-chief of the prosecution witness in Ali Ahsan Mujahid’s case and adjourned for the day.