Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:
- Chief Prosecuto vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury
- Investigation of AKM Yusuf
In the Chowdhury case, the Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief of Prosecution witness 34, Dijoy Krishno Chowdhury. The Defense declined to cross-examine the witness because he did not assert any allegations against Salauddin Qader Chowdhury.
The pre-trial stage of the case against AKM Yusuf continued and the Tribunal heard the Defense’s bail application, fixing tomorrow for passing its order.
Chief Prosecutor vs. Chowdhury
Prosecution Witness 34
Today the Prosecution heard testimony from Prosecution witness 34, Dijoy Krishno Chowdhury, who testified in support of Charge 4. This charge alleges that Salauddin Qader Chowdhury committed Genocide under section 3(2)(c)(i), 3(2)(c)(ii), 3(2)(g) and 3(2)(h); as well as persecution on religious ground and deportation as Crimes Against Humanity under section 3(2)(a) of the ICT Act of 1973.
Dijoy Krishno Chowdhury testified that on 13 April 1971 at about 9 or 10 am he heard the sounds of shooting from the west side of his house. Hearing the shooting, he along with his parents, brother and sister-in-law fled for their aunt’s house located at Dabua. He testified that on the way he heard more shooting coming from their home. The locals told him that some Razakars, Al-Badr and Pakistani Army members had gathered people together in the courtyard of Kiron Bikash Chowdhury and Surendra Babu, telling them that they were there for a meeting. They then opened fire and killed 30-32 people. Dijoy alleged that after 2 or 3 days the villagers of Borua para buried the dead beside the courtyard of Kiron Bikash Chowdhury. He testified that shortly thereafter he and his family fled to India. He said he heard that Bijoy Krishno Chowdhuy, Bidhu Vhushon Chowdhury and Dhirandro Chowdhury were killed near the Dabua canal. After returning from India he learned that the bones of the victims had been recovered from the mass grave and cremated according to Hindu ritual. A monument was built to mark the mass grave and the names of the victims are listed there. Dijoy stated that he was previously interviewed by the Investigation Officer.
The Defense declined to cross-examine the witness because he said nothing to implicate Chowdhury in the alleged events.
Chief Prosecutor vs. AKM Yusuf – Pre=Trial
Senior Defense counsel Abdur Razzak represented Yusuf in his bail hearing and alleged that the Defendant was arrested before the proper warrant was issued, and that the police failed to show any warrant at the time of arrest. He additionally stated that Yusuf is 87 years old and suffers from many complications due to his advanced age that necessitate special assistance. Yusuf has been under house arrest during the last 9 months and under such conditions presents no flight risk. The Defense requested that he be granted bail under the condition that he stay in his own residence, or alternately, that he be detained in the hospital.
The Prosecution opposed the bail petition and submitted that serious allegations of genocide, religious conversion, killing, looting and arson have been brought against the Accused. The Prosecution further submitted that there is no provision for bail under the ICT Act of 1973. They further claimed that Yusuf was arrested in accordance with law and is getting appropriate medical treatment in the jail.