27 May 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Nizami PW 9, Mubarak Hossain PW 2

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

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

In the case against Motiur Rahman Nizami , Defense counsel Mizanul Islam conducted cross-examination of Prosecution witness 9, Aynul Haque, who testified in support of Charge 2. Thereafter, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until 2 June 2013.

In the case against Mubarak Hossain case, the Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief of Prosecution witness 2, Khodaza Begum. Thereafter, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow 28 May 2013.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Nizami
Md Aynul Haque, a relative of alleged victims, testified in support of Charge 2 as Prosecution witness 9.

Md Aynul Haque previously testified that he was a teacher at the Rupashi Primary School in 1971. The Defense asked the witness numerous questions about the local Peace Committee in the union areas of Dhulauri, Sathia and Pabna including the date of their formation. They also asked who the secretary of the Peace Committees in these areas was. The witness was unable to answer any of the questions.

The Defense asked the witness whether he knows Amanullah, the son of Mohammad Ali. The witness answered that he is his cousin and that he was a student of the Madrassa in Gori village under Sathia Police Station. The Defense claimed that a case was filed against Amanullah for his alleged involvement in the murders that took place at Dr Abdul Awal’s house. The witness admitted that a case was filed but denied that his cousin was involved. The Defense asked who else was accused or arrested as a part of that case. The witness said he did not remember.

Defense asked when summer vacation began for Rupashi Primary School in 1971. The witness said he did not remember. The Defense claimed and the witness acknowledged that Woaz Uddin Khan’s house was located on the north side of the school. The witness also acknowledged that Woaz Uddin Khan was the Secretary of the governing body of the school in 1971. The Defense asked the witness if any of his other colleagues from the school are still alive. He stated he did not know. The Defense asked whether Abdul Qader and Sekendar were his colleague in 1971. Witness answered that they were, but added that he does not know whether they are still living.

Defense claimed that the witness did not tell the Investigation Officer during his initial interview that he was known as BBC in his area, or that he found out from the newspaper that Motiur Rahman Nizami was the secretary of the Pakistani Islami Chhatra Shangho (student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami). They also claimed that his original statement did not include the claim that he saw the headmaster of Rupashi Primary School sitting with others for the formation of a local Peace committee. Most importantly the Defense claimed that the witness did not originally tell the Investigating Officer that Nizami was present at that meeting. The witness denied these allegations and claimed that he had in fact made these statements during his original interview.

The Defense alleged that the witness is the ward level Secretary for the Awami League. Witness denied that and testified that after his retirement he was the union level Senior Assistant Secretary of Awami League and now member of Advisory panel for the Awami League. The Defense claimed that he was providing false testimony due to political influence. They alleged that the witness was given a job because of a favor from the current minister of the Awami League government, Shamsul Huq Tuku. They additionally claimed that his son was provided a job as well in exchange for the witness’ false testimony in this case. The witness denied the allegations.

Administrative Matters
Today the Tribunal reprimanded Nizami’s for providing incorrect information before the Tribunal. On 26 May (a hartal), junior Defense counsel members told the Tribunal that senior Defense counsel Mizanul Islam was suffering from pox when he was not. Mizanul Islam replied that he had informed his juniors that his daughter was suffering from pox and that he had found a sore on his back which was why he did not attend. He stated that the junior made an unintentional mistake.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Mubarak Hossain
The Prosecution called Khodaza Begum, the daughter of victim Abdul Khalek, as Prosecution witness 2.

Khodaza Begum testified that her father’s home was in Tangrapara. In 1971 she was 14 or 15 years old. Before the Liberation War, she stated that her father worked in Ansar and that in 1971 he father joined the Liberation War as a freedom fighter. She testified that on 9 November 1971 her father came to their house to visit her grandmother and mother. On 11 November 1971, having heard that the Pakistani Army and Razakars were coming towards their area, he attempted to flee but he was caught by Razakars. The Razakars beat him after tying his hands. She testified that she and others followed those who were taking away her father. She said that she was screaming and crying. Her father was taken to Shohilpur Union Council office where there was a camp of Razakars and Pakistani Army.

Khadaza testified that after the evening prayer her mother and grandmother went to the camp with food for her father. There a Razakar named Abdur Rauf took the foods and told her grandmother and mother to leave, assuring them that he would give the food to Abdul Khalek.  She alleged that Abdur Rauf also told her mother and grandmother that if they communicated with the commander of this camp, Mubarak Hossain, then they would be able to get Abdul Khalek’s release. She testified that her mother and grandmother told her this after they returned home from the camp.

Khadaza stated that her mother then went to their neighbor Khalek Maulana’s house to request that he help to bring back her husband. The neighbor assured her that in the next morning he would go to the camp to free her husband. She testified that the next morning before going to Khalek Moulana’s house they received the news that locals had found her father’s body on the west bank of Titash river, and that he had been shot to death.

She stated that they went to the river bank at Bakhail Ghat and found her father’s corpse. He had been shot in the right side of his forehead, through the right side of his chest, and twice near his navel. After that her mother went to their neighbor Khalek Moulana’s house.  Khalek Moulana went to the Razakar camp where he collected a slip and gave it to them. She said her father’s corpse was buried in their family graveyard.

The witness testified that she heard that the Razakar Commander was Mubarak Hossain and that he and his accomplice Jamshed were present when her father was caught by the Pakistani Army and the Razakar forces. She further testified that she herself saw Accused. She identified Mubarak Hossain in the dock. She testified that at the time of alleged incident Mubarak was young and had no beard. She acknowledged that she gave an interview to the Investigation Officer. She testified that she filed a case in the Brahmanbaria Judicial Magistrate Court for the killing of his father.