20 May 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Nizami PW 8, Mubarak Hossain PW 1

The Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Mobarak Hossain

In the Motiur Rahman Nizami case the Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief and cross-examination of Khalilur Rahman, Prosecution witness 8. Thereafter, Tribunal adjourned the proceedings until tomorrow, 21 May 2013.

In the Mobarak Hossain case the Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief of Darul Islam, Prosecution witness- 1. The Tribunal then adjourned until tomorrow.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Nizami
Prosecution Witness 8
Khalilur Rahman, Prosecution witness 8, testified in support of Charge 6. Under the Charge it is alleged that on 27 November 1971 Nizami and members of the Razakars and Pakistani military raided the house of Dr Abdul Awal and other adjacent houses in Dhulaura village. The charge further alleges that after the Pakistani army left, Nizami and his accomplices caught 22 survivors who they killed at the bank of the Ishamoti River. Nizami is charged for his involvement in murder as a Crime Against Humanity under Section 3(2)(a) of the ICT Act and section 4(1) and 4(2) of the ICT Act 1973.

Khalilur Rahman testified that in the middle of June he left for India to receive training as a freedom fight. He testified that he returned to Sujanagar, of Pabna, Bangladesh and stayed there 2 or 3 days. After that, at 12 or 12:30 on 27 November 1971, the witness said he took shelter at the house of Dr Abdul Awal located in Dhulaura village in the jurisdiction of Sathia police station. Khalilur testified that at about 3:30 am he heard the sounds of Army boots. He opened the window and saw Nizami, other Razakars and members of the Pakistani occupation force coming towards their house (where they took shelter). He testified that then he opened a North-facing door and went outside. He testified that then he began hearing the sounds of shooting people moving. He heard someone yelling at people to put their ‘hands up.’

The Prosecution asked a leading question about whether there was electricity in the area. The Defense objected and the Tribunal did not allow the leading question. Khalil testified that he ran to a banyan tree and climbed it with the intention of hiding himself. The Prosecution asked the witness how he recognized the Banyan tree. The witness answered that there was moonlight.

Khalil testified that just before the sun rose he noticed that there were some women hiding beneath the banyan tree. He saw some Razakars stealing their ornaments and jewelry. He testified that he also saw members of the Pakistani occupation forces entering a house with two young ladies. He testified that he also heard the screaming coming out from that house which made him think that they were being raped.

Khalil testified that from the tree he also noticed that Nizami was asking (did not specify to whom) that the men and boys of the community be taken towards the Primary school on the the south side. The Prosecution then asked if the witness had seen anything else. The Defense objected claiming the Prosecution was trying to prompt the victim. The Tribunal warned the Prosecution not to ask leading questions. Khalil answered that the Ishamoti River is beside the school field. He said that he left the tree between 9 and 9:30 am and heard from others that the military had left the area. He went to the bank of the Ishamoti River where he found many corpses of the villagers, including 4 of his associates. Two other associates were injured. He testified that that one of these was Shahajahan (PW-6) whose throat was slit and another one was Mazed, who was attacked with a bayonet. Th Prosecution then asked the witness whether he knew Nizami before Liberation War. The Defense objected but was overruled. They asked that the Tribunal record their objection along with the answer. The witness stated that he knew Nizami before the Liberation War because his house was just 1 kilometer away from the witness’ house. He also knew Nizami because he (Nizami) was the secretary of Islami Chhatra Shangho (student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami). He identified Nizami in the dock. Khalil testified that he had been interviewed by the Investigation Officer.

The Defense asked the witness questions about his education. They also asked if he knew where Motiur Rahman Nizami did his studies. Witness answered that he himself studied in Shonatola Primary School and passed SSC from Sathia Pailot High School. He said he did not know where Nizami was educated. The Defense asked whether he ever went to the house of Nizami before 16 December 1971. He said he had not gone there. The Defense then asked him about the family members of Nizami. These questions were designed to cast doubt on the witness’ testimony by showing that the witness was not actually familiar with Nizami and did not know him at the time of alleged incident.

The Defense next asked the witness numerous questions about Abu Sayed, whether the witness knew him, how long he knew him and about his training in India and the freedom fighters camp of Sathia. (Prosecution witness 6 previously gave testimony in support of Charge 6 and claimed that Abu Sayed organized all the freedom fighters of Sathia.)  The Witness answered that he does not know who organized the freedom fighters in his area and said that other than him (witness) and Modon Mohan there were no other freedom fighters in his village. He then added that recently some people have become known as freedom fighters. (The Prosecution objected at this point and asked the Tribunal not to record the last part of his answer in which he mentioned these “new” freedom fighters.’)

The Defense then him whether there was any gunfire exchanged between the freedom fighters and Pakistani occupation forces on the night of the alleged incident. The witness answered that he only heard the sound of firing but didn’t know who was shooting. The Defense asked him about the other 10 members of his group. In particular they asked about Kuddus and whether he was caught by the Pakistani Army on the night of the alleged incident. The witness answered that other than Mazed, Shahzahan (PW-6) and Kuddus all the members of his group members died on the day of the alleged incidents. The witness also stated that Kuddus had lived until approximately three years ago.

The Defense also asked the witness about the candidates in the elections of 1970. He answered that Abu Sayed and Anwar Hossain were candidates in the election but could not remember who the BNP candidate was. The Defense asked him about the Peace Committee, Razakars and Al-Badr forces of his area. He replied that there was no Peace Committee, Razakar or Al-Badr force in his village. The witness said he used to reside in Chatmohol just before leaving to get training in India. He said he first met with Shahazahan in the Youth camp in India. Finally the Defense asked the witness about the family members of Dr Abdul Awal and Abdul Gofur with the aim to allege that the witness did not actually go Dhulaura on the date of the alleged incident.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Mobarak Hossain

Prosecution Witness 1
Darul Islam testified as Prosecution Witness 1. He stated that in 1971 he was the Habilder of the intelligence service of the freedom fighters. He testified that on 30 November 1970 he came to his home from West Pakistan on 4 months leave. In March he came to Dhaka to receive his salary and heard the speech of Banghobandhu on 7 March 1971. He testified that he gave training to the boys from 1 to 14 April. From India he said he sometimes entered Bangladesh in order to collect information. He testified that there was a Pakistani camp in the north side of the Gongasagar canal and that Major Sekendar was in charge of this camp. He testified that some locals including Baju Mia, Abru Mia, Mobarak Ali, Mukta Mia and Jamshed Mia were with Pakistan Army. He testified that Mobarak worked as the EPR informer. He further testified that these people and others formed a Razakar team.

Darul testified that on 19 August 1971 with the help of the villagers of Mandail he, Subedar Giash Uddin, Nayeb Subedar Abdul Kadir, Montu Mia and 120 people destroyed a bridge. He testified that the Pakistani Army and Razakars were informed about the attack on 22 August at about 9 am and subsequently called a meeting. Jamshed, Mukta Mia and Mobarak informed the people to come to the house of Haji Box for meeting. He testified that at 3 pm 130 -132 people gathered in the house of Haji Box. The Pakistani Army came from the opposite side of Gongasaghar by boat and raided the house of Haji Box. He testified that the Pakistani Army took all of the people at gunpoint to the Pakistani Camp by boats. He testified that 33 people whose relatives were known to be supporting the Liberation War were being separated from others. Under the supervision of Jamshed, Mukta Mia, Mobarak Ali and Baju Mia they were taken to the west side of the canal. The rest of the people were kept captive in the Pakistani Army camp. He testified that the Pakistani Army, in the presence of Jamshed, Mobarak Ali and Mukta Mia, asked 33 people to dig a ditch. Once the ditch was dug the Army opened fire and killed them. The bodies were buried in the ditch. He testified that on 23 August the persons who were kept captive in the camp were released. He said he heard about the details from Abdul Bashar, who was one of the released.

Darul stated that after a Razakar group was formed at the Gonghasaghar camp, Mobarak was sent to the Anondomoi temple of Brahmanbaria as a Razakar Commander. He testified that after destroying the statues of the temple, Mobarak Ali and others set up a camp, Razakar Monjil, in that temple. He testified that after some days Mobarak Ali left this camp and became the Razakar commander of Sohilpur in Brahmanbaria. He testified that when Mobarak was in charge of Sohilpur acts of murder and torture were carried out. Additionally he alleged that Mobarak Ali killed Abdul Khalek. Darul further claimed that that the accused Mubarak Ali was a Union level Rokon of Jamaat-e-Islami and was also a member of Jammat-e-Islami before and after the Liberation War. He identified Mubarak in the dock.