Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:
- Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami
- Chief Prosecutor vs. Mubarak Hossain
In the Motiur Rahman Nizami case, the Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief of Tofazzal Hossain, Prosecution Witness 10. Thereafter, the Defense requested time to prepare for cross-examination, alleging that the Prosecution informed them about PW-10 just before the beginning of today’s proceedings (normally the Prosecution informs the Defense about the witness who is going to testify on the day before, so that Defense can prepare). The Tribunal allowed the prayer and adjourned the proceedings of the case until 4 June, 2013.
In the Mubarak Hossain case, the Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief of Md Rafiqul Islam, Prosecution Witness 3, who testified in support of charge no 3. Thereafter, Defense Counsel Ahsanul Huq Hena conducted cross-examination. After the conclusion of the cross-examination, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until 9 June, 2013.
Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami
Tofazzal Hossain, Prosecution Witness 10, testified in support of Charge no 15. Charge 15 alleges that Nizami is conspired to commit crimes under section 3(2)(g) and of was complicit in crimes under section 3(2)(h). The Accused is charged under section 3(2)(g) and 3(2)(h) with section 4(1) and section 4(2) of the ICT Act 1973.
Examination-in-Chief of PW 10
Tofazzal Hossain testified that Nizami was his classmate in Boalmari Madrassa. Tofazzal testified that he was the teacher of Sathia Pailot High School beginning in 1965 and that during the Liberation War he was the teacher of the same school. In the middle of May, Sathia Pilot School closed since Razakars wished to set up a camp. Hossain testified that in the middle of May, the Razakar camp was inaugurated, and he saw Nizami, Moulana Abdus Sobhan, Moulana Ishaq and 100-150 Razakars there. He specifically mentioned that he had seen them from a distance. He testified that he learned from people who attended the meeting that at the meeting it was decided to kill individuals who joined the Liberation War. It was also decided at the meeting to motivate the youth to join the Razakar.
Tofazzal testified that in July, he left for Kachuadanga Camp in India with 4-5 others. There he met with Abu Sayed, who encouraged Tofazzal to go back to Tofazzal’s village to organize the freedom fighters and his students for guerilla attacks. Tofazzal testified that in September 1971, Razakars started to attack unarmed civilians. He testified about an incident in which Razakars held two persons from Shonatola village and killed them beside the road of Daulatpur village. He further testified that Razakars held some unarmed civilians and keep them detained in the Sathia Pailot High School camp and the Army camp of Nagor Bari. He testified that among these detainees, some had gone missing, including Kalu, the Physical Instructor of Edward College.
Tofazzal testified that on 17 November, freedom fighters led by Mukul attacked the Sathia Pilot High School Razakar camp, where they killed 26-27 Razakars and detained 14 Razakars. He testified that on 7 December, when freedom fighters were gathered for a meeting at the police station, which was beside the Pilot School camp, they were attacked. He testified that at that attack he was hit by a bullet in his left eye and became unconscious.
He further testified that the followers of Nizami, Abdus Sobhan and Ishaq attacked the local Hindu community and looted their houses, and that the wife of Shunil Joardar was raped in the presence of her husband. Tofazzal testified that after the rape incident, Shunil Joarder’s wife committed suicide out of shame. Tofazzal identified Nizami in the dock and acknowledged that he gave an interview to the IO in 2010.
Chief Prosecutor vs. Mubarak Hossain
Examination-in-Chief of PW3
Rafiqul Islam testified he was 10 or 11 years old in 1971. He testified that before 25 March 1971 his father, Abdul Khalek, worked in Ansar, and after 26 March 1971 joined the Liberation War. Rafiqul testified that on 9 November, 1971 his father came to their house to visit his sick grandmother, grandfather and his mother. He testified that on 11 November 1971, upon hearing that the Pakistani Army and Razakars were coming towards their home, his father tried to flee, but was caught by the Razakars and the Pakistani Army. After tying his hands, they took his father to the Shohilpur camp. Rafiqul testified that at that time he was screaming and crying and started to follow the people who took his his father. He further testified that his sister was also with him when he was following the Razakars and the Pakistani Army. He left the place when the Razakars chased them.
Rafiqul testified that his mother and grandfather went to the camp with food, and that a Razakar named Abdur Rauf told his grandmother and mother to leave and kept the food, assuring them that he would feed Rafiqul’s father. Rafiqul testified that when his grandmother asked Abdur Rauf how they could free Abdul Khalek, Abdur Rauf answered that they could do so if they communicated with the commander of this camp, Mubarak Hossain. Rafiqul testified that his mother and grandmother later informed him about that. He testified that his grandmother died and his mother suffered a stroke 3-4 years back and can no longer speak clearly.
Rafiqul testified that his mother went to the house of their neighbor and Muslim League leader, Khalek Maulana, to ask him to bring back her husband, and that the neighbor assured her that he would try to free her husband the next morning. Rafiqul testified that the next morning at about 8 or 9 am, they received the news that locals had seen his father’s bullet-ridden body in the in the west bank of Titash river, in Bakhail Ghat. Rafiqul testified that they went to the spot, Bakhail Ghat, and got his father’s corpse and saw that his father had a bullet in the right side of his head, another bullet on the right side of his chest, and two wounds, one above and one below his navel, which Rafiqul later learned was made by a bayonet. He testified that when he followed the Razakars, he recognized Razakar Commander Mubarak Hossain, who had no beard at that time. He identified Mubarak in the dock. He testified that Khalek Moulana collected a slip from the Shohilpur Razakar Camp to bury his father’s corpse on the request of his mother and grandmother. Rafiqul acknowledged that he gave an interview to the Investigation Officer.
Cross Examination of PW3
During the examination-in-chief, the witness testified that his mother suffered a stroke 3-4 years back and that her speech is not clear now. The Defense asked the witness about the case filed by his sister (PW2) regarding the killing of his father, and when it was filed. The witness answered that it was filed 4 years ago. Then, the Defense claimed that even at that time his mother was not a witness in that case. The witness admitted that his mother was not a witness in that case. The Defense also asked the witness about his mother’s treatment, medicine, doctors and documents regarding the treatment, and where she is now receiving treatment, with the aim of cast doubt on his testimony by indicating that he was not telling the truth. The witness answered that his mother had received treatment in Brahmanbaria Sadar Hospital, but did not provide the name of the doctor. Regarding the documents, the witness he answered that he brought the discharge certificate from when his mother was released from the hospital but cannot say where the documents are now. The witness said that his mother is currently taking treatments but not from a specific doctor, so he could not provide the names of any doctors or any documents. The Defense then claimed that the witness’s mother did not actually suffer a stroke or receive any treatment, or that she is not currently under treatment. The Defense claimed that the witness said all of these to hide the truth, because if they bring his mother before the Tribunal, she will tell the truth.
The Defense questioned the witness about his age in 1971, and asked whether he had any documentary evidence that showed that he was 10-11 in 1971. The witness answered that he had no such documents, and that he just heard from elder members of his family that he was 10 or 11 in 1971. The Defense asked the witness about his sister, who testified as PW2, and her first marriage and divorce, with the aim of casting doubt on her testimony.
During examination-in-chief the witness testified that his grandmother and mother spoke with Abdur Rauf in the Shohilpur camp. The Defense asked the witness about Abdur Rauf, his younger brother Abdul Hamid, whether the witness’s sister Khadaza (PW2) was present when he talked with Abdur Rauf. The witness answered that Abdur Rauf introduced him to Abdul Hamid, and that Abdul Hamid said that he was a freedom fighter and fought with the witness’s father. The witness further stated that Abdul Hamid was a witness in the case which was filed by his sister (PW2), and his sister was present when he spoke with Abdur Rauf. Khadaza, as PW2, previously testified that Abdur Rauf was a Razakar; however, the Defense claimed that Abdur Rauf was not a Razakar. The witness reiterated that Abdur Rauf was a Razakar. The Defense claimed that Abdur Rauf’s brother Abdul Hamid was not a freedom fighter. Witness answered that this was not true.
The Defense alleged that the witness’s father, Abdul Khalek, was not an Ansar Commander, and claimed that there was no post of Ansar Commander in Ansar and that the witness had no documents proving that his father held this post. The witness denied this allegation and said that he had documents which he gave to the Investigation Officer. The Defense alleged that there was no Razakar camp in Shahilpur and that Mubarak was not the commander. The witness denied the allegations. Defense alleged that the Brahmanbaria Razakar Commander Abul Kalam Chowdhury was present when the victim was detained. The witness denied that Chowdhury was present.
Khadaza, as PW2, testified that she filed a case on 3 May 2009 alleging that Mubarak Hossain and Jamshed had killed her father. During examination-in-chief, Khadaza testified that she saw Razakar Commander Mubarak Hossain and his accomplice Jamshed when the Pakistani Army and the Razakars caught her father. The Defense asked PW3 about Jamshed. The witness answered that he did not know him but had heard his name. The Defense claimed that the Prosecution taught the witness to mention the dates of 9 and 11 November. The witness denied this, and added that his mother kept the dates on record in a book. The Defense asked the witness whether he showed the Investigation Officer the book where the dates were recorded. The witness answered that he did not.
The Defense claimed that the witness, in his initial interview with the Investigation Officer, did not state several of the facts which he testified to before the Tribunal. The Defense claimed that the witness did not say his father worked in Ansar before 25 March 1971 and joined the Liberation War after 26 March 1971, or that he left off following the people who had taken his father when the Razakars chased him and his sister. The Defense claimed that the witness also did not say that Abdur Rauf told the witness’s mother and grandmother that they would be able to free the witness’s father if they communicated with the commander of the camp, Mubarak Hossain. The Defense claimed that the witness did not tell the Investigation Officer that his father received a bullet in the right side of his head, another bullet on the right side of his chest, and the two wounds near his navel that the witness later learned were caused by a bayonet. The Defense further claimed that the witness did not say that he recognized Razakar Commander Mubarak Hossain and that Hossain had no beard at that time. The Defense claimed that the witness did not say these things in his initial interview with the Investigation Officer, but said them today before the Tribunal in bad faith. The Defense alleged that Abdul Hamid gave the witness financial benefits in exchange for giving false testimony. Witness denied that. The Defense claimed that the alleged incident did not take place in the alleged date, time and place. The witness denied that. The Defense claimed that the witness did not know Mubarak. The witness replied that this was not true.