27 March 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Hartal, Shortened Coverage

Due to today’s hartal (strike) our researchers were unable to attend proceedings. We have compiled the following short summary from media sources as well as through conversations with the Prosecution and the Defense. 

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammad Kamaruzzaman

In the Kamaruzzaman case the Prosecution continued their Closing Arguments, addressing the evidentiary aspects of Charges 4 – 7. Prosecutor Saiful Islam evaluated the testimony of the prosecution witnesses in relation to each charge.

CHARGE 4:  Killing of Golam Mostafa
Date of Occurrence: 23 August 1971.
Place of Occurrence: Serih Bridge, Gridda Narayanpur village, Mostafabag, Sherpur.
Witnesses in Support of Charge: Prosecution Witnesses 2, 5 and 14.

Charge 4 concerns the murder of a civilian named Golam Mostafa who was allegedly taken from College Morh on Mostafabag Thana Road and taken to Serih Bridge where he was killed. Another victim by the name of Abul Kasem was taken with Golam Mostafa but managed to escape after being shot by jumping into the river flowing under the bridge.

CHARGE 5: Torture and killing of 8 civilians
Date of Occurrence: Mid Ramadan of Arabic Calendar (approximately late October/early November, 1971)
Place of Occurrence: Raghunathpur Bazar and Ahammad Nagar Union Parishad Office, Sherpur.
Witnesses in Support of Charge: Prosecution Witnesses 7 and 14.

Charge 5 concerns the torture of Md Liakat and Mujibur Rahman Panu who were allegedly apprehended at their home in Chakbazar by Islami Chatra Shangha members and then tortured in the Banthia Building in Raghunathpur Bazar. Later 11 of the detainees were allegedly taken to a ditch behind Ahammad Nagar UP office where 8 of them were shot to death. Liakat and Panu, who were not killed, testified in support of the charge as Prosecution witnesses 7 and 14 respectively. Similarly to Charge 2, the judges noted that there were significant discrepancies between the witness’ testimonies regarding the month in which the alleged incident took place.

CHARGE 6: Torture and killing of Mr Tunu
Date of Occurrence: November, 1971
Place of Occurrence: District Coucil Daak Bungalow, Mymensingh.
Witnesses in Support of Charge: Prosecution  Witness 1

Charge 6 relates to the killing of one Mr Tunu, who was allegedly abducted by Al-Badr members acting on the instructions of the accused. Tunu and an individual by the name of Jahangir were abducted from Golki Bari and later taken to the District Council Daak Bungalow where Tunu was tortured and then killed. Prosecution witness 1, Hamidul Haque, testified that he heard the news of Tunu’s killing and Kamaruzzaman’s central role as a leader of the killing. He is a hearsay witness.

CHARGE 7: Killing of 6 unarmed civilians with bayonets
Date of Occurrence: 27th Ramadan of Arabic Calendar (November, 1971)
Place of Occurrence: Bank of River Brahmaputra.
Witnesses in Support of Charge: Prosecution witnesses 9 and 15.

Charge 7 alleges that on the night of the 27th of the month of Ramadan, the accused along with 15-20 armed Al-Badr members raided the house of one Tepa Mia in Golapjan Road, Mymensingh, and abducted him along with his son Zahurul Islam Dara. The two men were allegedly first detained in the Al-Badr camp at the District Council Daak Bungalow and later taken to the bank of the Brahmaputra river along with five others. They were then lined up and shot and all but Tepa Mia died. Three witnesses including Prosecution witness 9 and 15 testified in support of this charge. One Mr Dabir is an eye-witness to the detention of Dara and Tepa Mia. The other two witnesses provided hearsay evidence.

Due to the hartal the  Defense counsel were not present during the three hours of court proceedings, except for one junior counsel member. At the end of the day’s proceedings Kamaruzzaman requested that the tribunal not to carry out proceedings on the following hartal day (tomorrow). The court adjourned the case until Sunday, 31 March 2013, for which they scheduled the Prosecution’s submissions on legal points involved in the case.