Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:
- Chief Prosecutor vs Gholam Azam – examination of defense witness 2 (Accused not Present)
- Chief Prosecutor vs Motiur Rahman Nizami – inability of defense to attend due to violence (Accused Not Present)
The Tribunal was scheduled to hear the examination of Defense witness 2 in the Gholam Azam case. However, the Defense was unable to produce the witness and claimed that the witness had a fever and another witness had been detained in a separate case. The Defense requested adjournment.
The Tribunal was also scheduled to hear matters in the Nizami case. However, due to ongoing violence in Dhaka, senior Defense counsel Mizanul Islam was unable to reach the Tribunal. The Defense requested adjournment for the day.
Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam
Today was fixed for the examination of Defense Witness No-2, however, Defense counsel for Gholam Azam failed to produce any witness before the Tribunal. The Defense filed an application requesting adjournment for a period of two weeks. Defense counsel Tajul Islam submitted before the Tribunal that in October 2012 the Defense submitted a list of 12 defense witnesses including two foreign witnesses. Among them, the Defense was planning to call Nurul Amin and Keramot Ali. However, Nurul Amin is suffering from a fever and due to his physical condition he is unable to appear before the Tribunal. He further submitted that Keramot Ali on February 11, 2013 was detained and currently in custody in a criminal case, therefore, it is not possible to produce him before the Tribunal.
The Prosecution submitted that these cannot be grounds for adjournment and prayed that the Tribunal reject the application.
After the lunch break the Tribunal heard an application filed by the Defense on behalf of Gholam Azam for fixing dates for deposition of General Sir Jack Deverell, KCB, OBE and Professor William Schabas, OC MRIA as expert witnesses. In reply Prosecutor Sultan Ahmed Simon submitted that the Tribunal cannot fix any specific date for any specific witness and prayed to the application be summarily rejected.
Thereafter, the Tribunal stated that they had previously issued a statement on the same issue. They previously stated that if the Defense wished to call any foreign witness they are permitted to do so, but that the Tribunal would not issue summonses or schedule the matter. The Prosecutor then submitted that the Defense had not disclosed which witness they planned to produce tomorrow. The Tribunal stated that the Tribunal will provide time for testimony even if the witness was brought without notice.
Chief Prosecutor vs. Nizami
Regarding the case of Nizami, Tajul Islam submitted that currently there is continuous shooting going on in the Palton neighborhood and that due to the violence Defense counsel Mizanul Islam could not reach the Tribunal. He requested adjournment until 2 pm.
In reply Tribunal stated they cannot stop their work just because of the problems of a specific lawyer.
Tajul Islam then submitted that Tribunal had limited the number of Defense counsel to four and asked them to look at the Prosecution side to count how many lawyers are sitting there. Hearing this Prosecutor Abdur Rahman demanded who gave the Defense counsel the right to question the number of prosecutors present. Thereafter, Tribunal adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm.
After lunch Tajul Islam submitted that Mizanul Islam was still unable to appear as firing in the Paltan road area had started again around 1pm. The Tribunal adjourned the proceedings for Nizami’s case until February 20, 2013.