7 Feb 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Gholam Azam cross-examination of DW 1

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs Gholam Azam : Cross-examination of Defense Witness 1 (Accused not Present)
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs Motiur Rahman Nizami: Rescheduling of Case (Accused Not Present)

Prosecutor Haider Ali cross-examined Abdullahil Aman Azmi (DW-1) of the Ghulam Azam case and the Tribunal then adjourned the proceedings until January 10, 2013.

The Tribunal fixed January 11, 2013 for Motiur Rahman Nizami’s case.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam
Cross-examination of  DW-1
The Prosecution continued their cross-examination of Abdullahil Aman Azmi. He stated that there are no specific rules to become a best Army Officer but that there are some traditional guidelines known as TRACE specifically maintained for specific posts i.e. Major, Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel. He said that until now the army considered him (DW-1) as one of the best Army Officers. He admitted that he did not submit any letter before the Tribunal regarding his dismissal from the Army. He further said that the general procedure for dismissal was not followed in his case and that he was dismissed without any complaint. He said that he received a letter regarding his dismissal from Defense Ministry instead of the Bangladeshi Army. He further claimed that he was dismissed only for political reasons and without any investigation.

Azmi admitted that in 1975 and 1982 when the Army governed the country there was no situation like Liberation War in 1971. He admitted that he knew that the Highest Court of Bangladesh had declared the Marshal Law to illegal. He stated that his father, the accused Gholam Azam, was a teacher of Kormichle College from 1950 to 1955 and called by others as Professor. He further said that at that time there was no division regarding the post of the University and College e.g lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor and professor and everyone who used to teach students in different Universities or Colleges was known as Professor.

Prosecutor Haider Ali asked Azmi whether he is a follower of Gholam Azam. In answer Azmi said he was not bound to answer this question. He further said that he and his brothers are not activists of any political party. Azmi stated that in 1952 Gholam Azam was not in Dhaka. He said that Gholam Azam did not meet with Pakistani Jamaat-e-Islami Chief Moududi or his family members and did not have any connection with them.

Azmi acknowledged that during his examination-in-chief he quoted statements without noting the source. He said that if Tribunal asked to give him the sources he would provide the relevant sources.

Azmi claimed that on March 26, 1971 Gholam Azam was in his house located in Moghbazar and was very anxious. He further submitted that he cannot remember after March 25 when the first time that Gholam Azam went outside of their house was. He said that later on he heard that on April 4, 1971 his father (Gholam Azam) went to meet with Pakistani occupying forces but that he was not with him on any occasion. He said that no one knows about the subject matters of the discussion except the persons who were present there. He said that he does not know how many times his father met with the Pakistani occupying forces. Azmi said that his father went to Pakistan several times to join the central meeting of Jammat-e-Islami since he was the Chief of East Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami. He said he was not aware where the meeting of Jamaat-e-Islami was conducted in East Pakistan. He said that in 1970, to attend the Election Campaign, Gholam Azam would periodically leave Dhaka. He said that he had heard from various newspapers that in 1971 Ghulam Azam went outside of Dhaka one or two times.

Thereafter, Prosecutor started to cross-examine Azmi regarding different exhibits entered into evidence by the Defense. Regarding a book written by Gholam Azam,  Azmi said that ‘Gibone Ja Dekhlam’ is an autobiography. He further said that Mohammad Ali was a driver for his father (stated in Volume-3, page-133). He admitted that in the book his father wrote that on March 26, 1971 he (Gholam Azam) went outside of his home with his car and observed the atrocities committed on March 25, 1971 while he was crossing Dhaka University areas, Nobabpur Road and Gulistan area. Gholam Azam in his book described the atrocities on March 25 as atrocities committed by a country to conquer its enemy state.

Prosecutor Haider Ali read out page 130, 131 and 133 of ‘Gibone Ja Dekhlam’ a book written by Gholam Azam and Azmi admitted that his father in that book stated that on March 25, 1971 at about 10:30 he (Gholam Azam) heard the sound of a cannon and saw the sky turn red and that the phone went dead. He further said in his book that after the Esha (nighttime) prayer he came to know from others that in different places people were putting up barricades. At about 11 pm he was informed that shops in Noyabazar were set on fire. He found a mortar cell on his roof and concluded that the Pakistani Army was attempting to take the town under its control. It was stated that Gholam Azam suspected that if the dialogue failed then something bad might occur. In the book Gholam Azam also said that at 1 am he was informed that the Pakistani Army had attacked Razarbag Police Line and that two policemen took shelter behind wall of Ispahani colony which was to the North side of their house.

Prosecutor Haider Ali read out page 207 volume-3 of a book titled ‘Meeting with President Eahyia’. Haider Ali read out page 154 of the book in which it was stated that on April 1971 in Nurul Amin’s house a meeting was held with the initiative of Khaja Khoiruddin and Moulove Farid Ahmed, and that members of different political parties were present including Gholam Azam and two leaders of the Awami League. The book further said that the Peace Committee was formed there by unanimous voting.

Azmi continued his testimony and stated that from his reading he learned that during the Liberation War in 1971 the Pakistani Government banned the Awami League and a gazette notification was issued demanding that members of the National Assembly who were elected in 1970 express their obedience towards the Pakistan Government.

Azmi further stated that in 1971 Gholam Azam used the word “miscreants’ to describe the armed opposition that was against a united Pakistan but that he did not use it to describe unarmed civilians. He stated that in 1971 the political figures who were in support of united Pakistan were unarmed and formed the Peace Committee. He stated that he did not know about the activities of the Peace Committee. He said that the Peace Committee worked under the supervision of Muslim League Leaders. He said he was not aware whether the Peace Committee worked under the supervision of the Central Peace Committee or not. He said that on December 4, 1971 his father failed to land in Dhaka and had to stay in Saudi Arabia and return to Pakistan. Azmi said that he does not know whether his father (Gholam Azam) met with foreigners or journalists in 1971 or not. He said that the Daily Shangram started its publication under the Pakistani regime. He denied having any knowledge as to whether any newspaper was an agent of any political party or not.