Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:
- Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury – Prosecution witness 31
Today the Prosecution conducted the examination-in-chief of the Prosecution witness 31, Shujit Mohazon. The Tribunal then heard the beginning of the Defense’s cross-examination. They then adjourned the case until tomorrow as per the request of the Defense, who stated that they needed additional time to prepare questions regarding the factual issues because the Prosecution had only informed them this morning that the witness would appear today.
Prosecution Witness 31
The Prosecution called Shujit Mohazon, son and brother to two alleged victims, as prosecution witness 31. Shujit Mohazon testified in support of Charge no 6. Charge 6 was alleges that Salauddin Qader Chowdhury committed Genocide under section 3(2)(c )(i) and 3(2)(3 )(ii); and deportation as a Crime Against Humanity under section 3(2)(a) of the ICT Act 1973.
Shujit Mozajon testified that he is the son of Jogesh Chandra Mohazon and Harilata Mohazon. He was 11years old in 1971. He stated that on 13 April1971 he along with his father, Jogesh Chandra and brother, Ranjit Mohazon, were sitting on their veranda when they heard the sounds of crowds yelling the slogan ‘Pakistan Zindabad.’ He testified that the Pakistani army and some Bengalis arrived and entered their house. Being afraid, Shujit said that he hid himself next to the Gola (a barrel for storing rice) in their kitchen. From his hidden position he saw his father and brother be taken to the bank of Khitish Chandra’s pond.
Shujit testified that after sometime he heard the sounds of shooting. He testified that it was 4:30 or 5 pm. After 10 or 15 minutes he exited the house and went towards the bank of the pond. Shujit testified that he found the corpses of his father and brother next to the tube well on their property. Dhujit stated that the Pakistani army also took away his mother, aunt and sister-in-law. He said he found his mother injured with a bullet wound in the field beside the pond. He said that in total he saw about 60-62 corpses on the north side of the pond. He took his injured mother to Shil Para.
After two days the neighbors buried all of the corpses at the bank of the pond. He testified that his mother told him that Salauddin Qader Chowdhury and his accomplices were present during the attack. He stated that he also heard about the killing of Maddha Gahira, Kundeshori, Jogomollopara, and Banikpara and that the Pakistani army had killed almost 150 persons of ethnic minority in these areas.
Shujit stated that three or four years ago a memorial was built in Unsattar Para. The names of 50 persons are written on it, including the names of his brother and father. Shujit confirmed that he was interviewed by the Investigating Officer. He said that at the time he did not know Salauddin Qader Chowdhury but that he is now aware of who he is. He identified Salauddin Qader Chowdhury in the dock.
The Defense pointed out that Salauddin Qader Chowdhury is the only person present in the dock and so the witness’ identification of him is meaningless. After confirming the witness’ age and identity the Defense alleged that the witness did not tell the Investigating Officer that his mother told him that Salauddin Qader Chowdhury was present during the attack. The witness denied the allegation.
The Defense then asked him questions about the Chairman and members of the Union in his area in 1971. The witness answered that Abdul Hakim was the Union Chairman but could not recall the names of any members other than Korom Ali. The Defense questioned him about his education, which class he was in in 1971, the name of his class teacher, etc. The Defense asked him about his knowledge of the road by which people reach his village, Unsattar Para, when coming from Kaptai. The Defense suggested that the name of this road was Hafiz Bozlur Rahman. The witness denied the suggestion and said that the name of this road is Hazi Bozlur Rahman. Defense asked him whether he had read the street sign where the name of the road was written. The witness said he had not, but claimed he heard the name from villagers.
Defense then asked the witness whether he knows Abbas Uddin Chairman (PW-7). Witness replied that he knows him and testified that Abbas is involved with the politics of Awami League. Defense asked Shujit whether he told Abbas what his mother had allegedly told him about CChowdhury’s involvement. Shujit replied he did not. The Defense then asked Shujit how he knows Abbas. Shujit stated that Abbas is the Chairman of Andhar Manik Union 10. The Defense alleged that there is no union by that name Andar Manik. The witness then said that Abbas is the Chairman of Union 10. Shujit then admitted that Abbas in 1971 resided in his uncle’s house, which was located at Unsattar para. He denied that he ever saw Abbas there.