7 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Mujahid Cross-Examination of PW 17 – Investigating Officer

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid

Today the Investigating Officer, prosecution witness 17 Abdur Razzaq, was cross examined by the Defense. They highlighted the various procedural flaws in the investigation process and the underlying deficiencies of his findings, thereby seeking to discredit his testimony.  Proceedings were adjourned before the cross-examination was completed because the witness claimed was feeling unwell. The Tribunal first adjourned until 2 p.m., but the witness did not feel better after the lunch recess and court was adjourned for the day.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Mujahid: Defense Cross-Examination of Investigation Officer
Abdul Razaq is the Investigation Officer for the ICT. He testified as Prosecution witness 17. At the beginning of the cross-examination the Defense asked the witness to verify his personal details including date of birth and year in which he began working for the Police as an investigator.

The witness testified that the investigation into Mujahid began as part of Complaint Registrar case No. 1, on 21 July 2010. The Complaint Registrar case against four accused: Nizami, Mujahid, Kamaruzzaman and Qader Molla. Additionally, the witness testified that he used the judicial record of the Pallabi Case No. 60, which was filed under the regular Penal Code of Bangladesh.

The witness acknowledged that he did not request or receive the Case Diary of the Investigation Officer of the case filed in Pallabi. He also admitted that he did not attempt to determine whether a Police Report was filed in the magistrate level case. The witness testified that informant Amir Hossain Molla named 14 witnesses in the investigation. The Investigating Officer attested that he interviewed each of them. He claimed he was not instructed to separately investigate each of the accused. He acknowledged that Mujahid’s name appeared in the “First Information Report” (FIR), although there was no specific allegation against him. A subsequent FIR however, alleged crimes under Section 3(2).

The Defense suggested that the informant did not actually implicate Mujahid in the FIR and that he was added because of outside pressure. They also noted that the informant was not called as a witness for the instant case and suggested it was because he had no information implicating the accused. Additionally the Defense counsel alleged that the record of the Pallabi case was sent to the ICT upon the order of the Magistrate and was forwarded to the Investigating Officer. They noted that the report was not returned to the Chief Prosecutor after the completion of the investigation.

The witness acknowledged that a similar case had been filed in Keraniganj Police Station ( Case No. 34(12) 2007) and that he had not requested or received the Case Diary from that court. He testified that Mujahid’s name did appear in the FIR for the Keraniganj case. The Defense noted that the witnesses in that case have not been called as witnesses in this case and implied that it was because they did not have information implicating Mujahid.

The Investigating Officer was asked what steps he took to ascertain historical aspects of the case from independent sources. He acknowledged that he did not interview any professors or researchers at Dhaka University or other universities regarding the history of the emergence of Bangladesh. He stated that Mr. Muntasir Mamun was interviewed but he denied knowing that Mr. Muntasir Mamun had ties with the Ghatok Dalal Nirmul Committee, an organization that held mock trials for alleged war criminals in 1992. The Investigating Officer acknowledged that Mohammad Delwar Hossain, the author of “Muktijuddhey Dhaka,” was also interviewed but said that he was not relied upon due to various inaccuracies in his findings. The Judge then interjected and asked how the Investigating Officer could say that the book contains inaccurate information when the Prosecution has relied upon the book to prove its case.

The witness displayed discomfort at the intensity of the questioning and eventually asked to be dismissed because he was not feeling well.