21 March 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Contempt Proceedings against Jamaat Leaders, Adjournment for Kamaruzzaman

21 March 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Contempt Proceedings vs. Selim Uddin and Other Jamaat Leaders
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammad Kamaruzzaman

Prosecutor Mohammad Ali started the day’s submission expressing his deep sadness at the death of President Zillur Rahman, the Honorable President of Bangladesh. Stating that the country mourns at his departure, the prosecutor proposed that the court observes two minutes of silence in his honor. In response, the judges expressed their sadness and commented that all present in the courtroom mourn with the nation. However, they said that as an independent entity of the judiciary, it is not possible for them to observe the silence without some steps or instruction coming from the Honorable Chief Justice.

The court then called the contempt proceedings against Mr Selim Uddin and other Jamaat party leaders. Defense counsel for the politicians had filed applications Selim Uddin, Hamidur Rahman Azad MP and Rafiqul Islam requesting the court to dispense of the requirement that they appear in person. The counsel submitted that all of them have highest regards for the court and is not being able to comply with the court’s order solely by reason of security issues. The court rejected the applications stating that the two Jamaat leaders who have not yet appeared are now fugitives and such submission will not dispense with the requirement of personal appearance. The Tribunal fixed the next hearing for 10 April 2013. 

Finally, the defense sought time to produce defense witness in Kamaruzzaman’s case claiming that the witness could not appear due to illness. The court fixed Sunday 24 March 2013 as the next date for hearing the witness. The Tribunal stated that if the Defense again fails to produce their witness they will begin hearing closing arguments.