Today due to a nation-wide hartal our researchers were unable to attend proceedings. The following summary has been compiled from media sources and conversations with the Defense and the Prosecution.
Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:
- Chief Prosecutor vs Mir Qasem Ali
- Chief Prosecutor vs Motiur Rahman Nizami
- Chief Prosecutor vs Salauddin Qader Chowdhury
On 26 May 2013, the Tribunal took Cognizance of the charges against Mir Qasem Ali and fixed June 27 for hearing arguments for and against framing the order.
In the Nizami case, the Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief of Prosecution witness 9, Aynul Haque. Thereafter, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow, 27 May 2013.
In the Chowdhury case, the Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief of Prosecution witness 41, Investigation Officer Md Nurul Islam. The Tribunal then adjourned the proceedings of the case until 28 May 2013.
Chief Prosecutor vs Motiur Rahman Nizami
Md Aynul Haque, Prosecution witness 9, testified in support of charge no 2. The charge alleges that Nizami conspired to commit crimes under section 3(2)(g) of the Act, resulting in murders, rapes and deportation of victims as Crimes Against Humanity. He is charged under section 3(2)(a) and 3(2)(g) read with Section 4(1), providing for accomplice liability and section 4(2), providing for command responsibility.
Md Aynul Haque testified that he was a teacher of Rupashi Primary School and that he is known as BCC in his area. He testified that in February 1970/1971 he learned from the newspaper that Motiur Rahman Nizami was the secretary of the Pakistani Islami Chhatra Shangho (student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami).
Aynul testified that on 10 May 1971 he saw the headmaster of Rupashi Primary School and about ten others sitting together. The headmaster told him that they were there to form a local chapter of the Peace Committee. He further testified that the headmaster introduced a man as Motiur Rahman Nizami. The witness said he also knew another of the men present at the meeting, he was known as ‘Traitor Asad’ because he worked with Pakistani military as a collaborator.
Aynul testified that on 14 May 1971, at about 6 or 6:30 am his maternal uncle informed him that the Pakistani Army had raided Demra, Rupashi and some parts of Baousgari area. He testified he and others fled out of fear for their lives. He claimed that he saw a helicopter flying at about 11/ 11:30 am and heard the sounds of shooting. He also saw smoke and flames from a fire. Aynul testified that around 12-1pm he saw a man coming out from the raided area who told them that many people had been killed inside the raided area.
Aynul testified that in the morning on the following day, 15 May 1971, he returned to his village where he saw 300-350 people killed, including his maternal uncle Asgor Ali Pramanik, uncle AKM Fakir, cousin Ahesh Fakir, Afil Fakir, Jamal Uddin Pramanik, one of his students Moksed Ali, Ram Jogonnath Roy, Boloram Roy, Monindro Nath Nondi, Dilip Kumar Roy, Nirmolendu Nath Roy, Gora Babu, and Abdul Jobbar. The bodies were in the Baousgari Pagar, which is now known as the mass grave of Baousgari. He testified that he helped to bury the bodies of his maternal uncle Asgor Ali Pramanik and other relatives but that they were unable to perform the Janaza (last prayer). He testified that the relatives of the Muslim victims took away the bodies of their relatives and the bodies of the Hindu victims were buried at the spot. He testified that in the evening he heard that the Pakistani Army had also raped women. He stated that the man known as Traitor Asad and his accomplices led Pakistani Army to the area. He testified that Traitor Asad was involved with the politics of Jamaat-e-Islami. He testified that he heard that victims of rape had left the country for India because they were so ashamed of what had happened to them. Aynul identified Nizami in the dock and stated that he provided the Investigation Officer with an interview.
Chief Prosecutor vs Salauddin Qader Chowdhury
The Investigation Officer Md Nurul Islam testified as Prosecution witness 41.
Md Nurul Islam testified that he joined as an Investigation Officer on 8 July 2010. He began the investigation into Salauddin Qader Chowdhury following the Complaint Register serial number 3, dated 26 July 2010. He stated that during his investigation he go examined books, newspapers, reports, audio and video recordings, and other documents regarding the Liberation War. Additionally he visited 32 sites where crimes were allegedly committed. He testified that after gathering evidence of Salauddin Qader Chowdhury’s involvement in the alleged crimes he submitted his report to the Chief Prosecutor on 12 December 2010. The Prosecution then requested the Tribunal to issue an arrest warrant for Salauddin Qader Chowdhury. The witness testified that Salauddin Qader Chowdhury was arrested under this case on 18 December 2010.
The Tribunal then adjourned. The examination of the Investigation Officer is scheduled to continue.