Monthly Archives: April 2013

16 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Kamaruzzaman Prosecution Reply to Defense Closing Arguments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammad Kamaruzzaman – Prosecution Reply – Closing Arguments

Our summary of the Prosecution’s reply to the Defense’s Closing Arguments in the Kamaruzzaman case is forthcoming. We are consulting Prosecution documents to make sure that our coverage is detailed and accurate. Please check back here for the full length post which we will publish shortly.

15 April 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Conclusion of Gholam Azam Defense Closing Arguments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami

On April 15, 2013 the Defense for Gholam Azam concluded their Closing Arguments. Imran Siddiq presented the Defense’s arguments based on complicity. Senior Defense counsel Abdur Razzaq presented arguments on the Doctrine of Command Responsibility. The Defense then summarized the Charges against Gholam Azam before the Tribunal. After the completion of the Defense’s case the Tribunal asked the Prosecution to submit their reply. The Prosecution requested one day for preparation of their response. The Tribunal accepted the request and adjourned the proceedings until 17 April 2013.

After the lunch break the Tribunal turned to the Nizami case. Prosecutor Mir Iqbal informed the Tribunal that Prosecution witness 4 had been present in the morning but was now feeling sick and could not testify. The Tribunal therefore adjourned the proceedings until tomorrow, 16 April 2013.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam

Complicity
Count 13 Charge No 4
The Defense submitted that the Prosecution failed to prove that Gholam Azam’s press briefing substantially contributed to the commission of Genocide or Crimes Against Humanity. The Prosecution has failed to adduce evidence in the form of witnesses or documents to establish that identified members of the Pakistan Army and/or its auxiliary forces had heard or read Gholam Azam’s statement prior to committing Genocide or Crimes Against Humanity. The Defense referred to the testimony of the Investigation Officer and submitted that during cross-examination the witness admitted that he not say whether any person had committed atrocities upon hearing or reading Gholam Azam’s statements and speeches.

Count 14, Charge 4
The Prosecution has based Count 14 of Charge 4 on Exhibits 48 and 122  which quote Gholam Azam as saying the damage that was caused by the separatists cannot be remedied merely by chanting slogans. He also alleged that there were those who were colluding with India and involved in arson, looting and violence throughout the country because they wanted an independent East Pakistan. Gholam Azam alleged that in order to assist the separatists and the banned Awami League, India was smuggling infiltrators and arms into the country. Gholam Azam also praised the Pakistani Army for their role in preserving the unity of Pakistan.

The Defense argued that no where in these reports is there proof that Gholam Azam expressed support for the criminal activities of the Pakistani army, nor is there any proof that he urged the members of Jamaat or others to engage in repressive and criminal activities. The Defense further submitted that Gholam Azam’s statement that chanting of slogans would not be enough to redress the damage caused by the separatists does not amount to urging members of Jamaat to commit Genocide or Crimes Against Humanity as alleged in the Charge Framing Order. Continue reading

15 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Kamaruzzaman Defense Closing Arguments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammed Kamaruzzaman: Final Defense Closing Arguments

The Defense for Muhammad Kamaruzzaman presented the last of their Closing Arguments for the case. Defense counsel Ehsan Siddique began the submission on behalf of the Accused, Kamaruzzaman. Senior Defense counsel Abdur Razzaq appeared and informed the Tribunal that he would resume his portion of the submission after the lunch break. The Defense highlighted five weaknesses of the Prosecution’s case: 

  •  Evidentiary weakness of Charges 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.
  • Contradictory witness testimony 
  • Inconsistencies between courtroom witness testimony and original statements to the Investigating Officer
  • Credibility issues
  • Failure to Fulfill Requirements of Doctrine of Command Responsibility

Defense counsel Ehsan began his submission with arguments on further legal points involved in Charge-2. He then addressed inconsistencies and contradictions in the witness testimony and documentary evidence submitted in support of Charges-3, 5, 6, and 7.

After lunch, Abdur Razzaq made some final closing remarks regarding Charge 2 before turning to Charge 4.  He identified and outlined the substantial contradictions between the testimonies of the relevant witnesses. The Defense argued that the Prosecution has primarily relied on oral evidence and did not produce a lot of documentary evidence. Razzaq stated that given numerous inconsistencies and contradictions, the testimony of the Prosecution witnesses leaves too much doubt for a conviction to be justified. The Defense claimed that Kamaruzzaman has been targeted solely because of his political affiliations.

Charge-2:
Definition of “Other Inhumane Acts” as Crimes Against Humanity
Defense counsel Ehsan Siddique claimed that the charge of complicity in Charge-2 has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt. He submitted that the term “other inhumane acts” is not a catch-all category and cannot be used to include any type of action not otherwise enumerated within the statute. He cited to the ICTR Trial Chamber’s decision in The Prosecutor v Clement Kayishema and Obed Ruzindana, para 583, states that the category should not be utilized by the Prosecution as an all-encompassing, “catch-all” term.

Continue reading

11 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Kamaruzzaman Adjournment

Due to an ongoing nation-wide hartal our researchers were unable to attend proceedings today. The following brief summary is compiled from media sources and conversations with the Defense and Prosecution.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammed Kamaruzzaman

Today the Tribunal adjourned the Kamaruzzaman case for the fourth consecutive day due to the absence of the senior Defense counsel. The Defense stated that the senior counsel were unable to attend due to personal difficulties resulting from the hartal.  The Chairman of the Tribunal reiterated that the Defense has been granted the right to use law enforcement if necessary on Hartal days. The judges stated that absence amounts to obstruction of the judicial process. Furthermore, the Tribunal noted that given the present political situation, hartals are becoming more frequent. Therefore the Tribunal cannot continue to adjourn proceedings and would close the Defense’s case if they fail to attend on upcoming hartal days. 

11 April 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Mubarak Hossain Investigation, Gholam Azam Adjournment

Due to an ongoing nation-wide  hartal our researchers were unable to attend proceedings today. The following summary is compiled from media sources and conversations with the Defense and Prosecution.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Investigation of Mubarak Hossain
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam

Today Ahsanul Huq Hena, senior Defence counsel for Mubarak Hossain, submitted the Defense’s request for the discharge of his client from the case. The Defense also requsted bail. Prosecutor Zahed Imam opposed the bail prayer. After hearing both sides the Tribunal scheduled 23 April for the passing of its order.

In the Gholam Azam case the Defense requested an adjournment until Monday, 15 April, because senior Defence counsel Abdur Razzaq was unable to attend due to “personal difficulty.” Prosecutor Sultan Mahmud Simon opposed the prayer. The Tribunal passed an order scheduling 15 April for the Defense’s Closing Arguments. The order stated that further requests for time extensions would not be allowed under any circumstances.

10 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Alim Examination-in-Chief of Prosecution Witness 15, Kamaruzzaman Adjournment

Due to a nation-wide hartal our researchers were unable to attend proceedings today. The following summary is compiled from media sources and conversations with the Defense and the Prosecution.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammed Kamaruzzaman

Examination in Chief of Alim Prosecution Witness 15
In the Alim case the Prosecution called Prosecution witness 15, Mozammel Hossain. The witness is allegedly the survivor of an assault mission in Jaipurhat. The witness testified that at least 22 Awami League supporters were killed during the and assault conducted by the Pakistani Army during the 1971 Liberation War. Hossain stated that the Pakistani Army acted based on a list of targets provided by the Accused, Abdul Alim, who happened to be a veteran Muslim League leader and Peace Committee member at that time.  The witness claimed that the alleged list contained his name. He said that the attack was directed against local Awami League supporters at the time. Hossain alleged that such supporters were first taken from their village mosque to the nearby village of Birala where they were lined up. People whose names did not appear on the list were released while the rest were taken to Chakpahananda village. There they were tortured and killed. The witness was one of the survivors.  While describing the atrocities the witness showed the court scars from his injuries.

Kamaruzzaman Adjournment due to Absence of Defense During Hartal
Kamaruzzaman’s case was also listed in the daily cause list. Mr Abdur Razzaq, the senior Defense counsel for the accused was again absent due to the ongoing hartal. A junior counsel appearing on behalf of the Accused informed the Tribunal that the senior counsel is unable to attend proceedings on hartal days.  The case was therefore adjourned.