Monthly Archives: July 2013

21 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Contempt Proceedings, Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Mueen Uddin PW 3

21 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Contempt Proceedings, Ahrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin PW 3

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Contempt Proceedings against Prosecution Witness Jahir Uddin Jalal
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chwodhury Mueen Uddin

Today the Tribunal heard ongoing arguments from both parties in the contempt proceedings against Prosecution witness Jahir Uddin Jalal, who allegedly assaulted defense counsel Mr Munshi Ahsan Kabir outside of the High Court. After consulting the victim of the alleged attack the Tribunal disposed off the matter with and order of caution to the contemnor.

The  Tribunal then moved to the Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin case, in which the Prosecution called Prosecution witness 3 to testimony. State appointed defense attorneys Shukur Khan and Tuny will conduct the cross-examination of the witness on 23 July 2013. Continue reading

21 July 2013 ICT-1 Daily Summary – Chowdhury DW 3 cross-examination; Nizami PW 14

Today the Tribunal hear matter in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Mobarak Hossain
  3. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami

In the Salauddin Qader Chowdhury case, the Prosecution completed cross-examining Defense Witness 3, Qayyum Reza Chowdhury. The Tribunal also heard an application filed by Defense requesting the admission of 55 additional documents. Having heard both sides the Tribunal passed an order. The  Defense then verbally requested adjournment and Tribunal  set 23 July for examination-in-chief of Defense Witness 4.

In the Moborak Hossain case today was fixed for the cross-examination of Prosecution Witness 6, Abdul Malek, who is to testify in support of charge 5. However, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow, 22 July 2013.

In the Motiur Rahman Nizami case, the Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief of Prosecution witness 14, Abdus Salim Latif, who testified in support of charges 7 and 9. The Tribunal then adjourned the case until tomorrow, 22 July 2013. Continue reading

18 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin Cross-Examination PW-2, Investigation of Syed Mohammad Qaisar, Pre-trial AKM Yusuf

Today a nation-wide hartal was called in response to the conviction and sentencing of Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid. Our coverage of today’s proceedings are therefore gathered from media sources as well as from conversations with the Prosecution and Defense.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, in absentia
  2. Investigation of Syed Mohammad Qaisar
  3. Pre-trial Stage of AKM Yusuf Case

Continuing where they left of on 16 July in the Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin case, the Tribunal heard the cross-examination of Prosecution witness 2, Asif Munir. The witness is the son of Professor Munir Chowdhury, who was killed as part of the Bangladeshi intellectual community in December of 1971. He was cross-examined by the two state appointed defense attorneys: Mr Shukur Khan who is representing Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Ms Tuny who is representing Chowdhury Mueen Uddin.

The Tribunal also directed the Prosecution to submit a progress report on the investigation into suspect Syed Mohammad Qaisar. They scheduled the report for 13 August 2013. Qaisar, an former state Minister in President Ershad’s cabinet, has been in police custody since 21 May 2013 for his alleged involvement in atrocities committed during the 1971 independence war.

In the pre-trial proceedings against AKM Yusuf the Tribunal granted a Defense application for additional time and adjourned the proceedings of the case until 22 July 2013.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin
Cross-Examination of Prosecution Witness 2
The witness Asif Munir previously testified that his father was abducted by Al-Badr men from their house in Central Road, Dhaka on 14 December 1971, just two days prior to Bangladesh’s victory against the Pakistan. He also claimed that his father was targeted because of his vocal opposition to the then Pakistani government’s anti-Bengali stance. He described how his father was abducted from their Central Road house and said that he learned the details of the incident from his mother, brother and a paternal uncle, all of whom witnessed the incident first hand.

Asif Munir that at around 1 p.m. on the day of the incident someone knocked at the door. The witness’s mother saw from the window that a microbus was standing in front of their house. The vehicle was covered with tree branches on its roof and covered with mud.  A few young men got out of the car and came to their gate, where they were met by the witness’ uncle, Mr Shamsher Chowdhury Rusho. The men asked Mr. Shamser  if he was Munir Chowdhury. The uncle said no and went back to the house where he informed the victim Munir that they were seeking him. Munir then went down to the ground floor to meet the men. The witness then said that he was told that his father was forced into the microbus at gunpoint after a heated exchange of words. The witness’s mother and brother, Mishuk Munir, witnessed the incident from the first floor. The witness stated he only four years old at that time.

After independence the family of the witness who saw the incident became sure that Ashrafuzzaman and Mueen Uddin were both directly involved in the abduction upon seeing the photographs of the perpetrators published in a newsreport in the Daily Purbadesh. They recognized the photographs of the two accused as being amongst those youths who abducted the victim. The newspapers alleged that these men were directly involved in the killing of many other Bengali intellectuals.

The witness further stated that he later coincidentally met one Mr Delwar Hossain who was similarly picked up by Al-Badr men in December, 1971. Delwar told him that he heard the name of Munir Chowdhury and saw him amongst those who were detained and tortured in the Al-Badr concentration camp in Mohammadpur Physical Training Institute.

The witness stated that his brother also gave similar description in his statement given to the Investigation Officer of the case, before his early demise in a tragic road accident on 13 August 2011.

18 July 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Hartal Limited Coverage

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Investigation of Zahid Hossain Khokon
  2. Contempt Proceedings – The Economist: Adam Roberts and Others
  3. Investigation of ATM Azharul Islam
  4. Investigation of Mir Qasem Ali
  5. Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowhdury

Today the Tribunal 1 issued a warrant for the arrest of Zahid Hossain Khokon after taking cognizance of the charges brought against him. July 30 is scheduled for the hearing of the charges.

The Tribunal then addressed ongoing contempt proceedings against Adam Roberts as the South Asian Bureau Chief of the Economist. On 6 December 2012, the former chairman of the Tribunal announced that he had been called by a person from the Economist and asked for verification regarding alleged skype conversations with foreign legal expert and activist Ahmed Ziauddin. Subsequently the Tribunal issued an order for the Economist to show cause for their ‘interference with the ongoing trial and violating the privacy of a judge.’ On 25 March 2013, Mustafizur Rahman submitted a written reply on behalf of Economist. Today, 18 July 2013, Tribunal heard arguments from both Roberts’ representative and the Prosecution. They fixed 27 August for passing the Tribunal’s order on the matter.

The Prosecution submitted the Formal Charge against ATM Azharul Islam to the Office of the Registrar and informed the Tribunal. The Tribunal set 24 July for the decision of taking cognizance of charges.

Today was fixed for the charge hearing against Mir Qasem Ali. However, the Defense sought six weeks time for additional preparation. The Tribunal scheduled the hearing for 25 July.

In the Chowdhury case the cross-examination of the Defense Witness 3, Qayyum Reza Chowdhury, was also scheduled. However the Defense requested an adjournment. The Tribunal allowed the prayer and fixed 21 July for cross-examination of the witness.

17 July 2013: Mujahid Found Guilty of 4 Charges – Sentenced to Death

Today Tribunal 2 issued its fourth verdict in the case of Chief Prosecutor vs. Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid. It is the sixth verdict issued by the International Crimes Tribunal. The Tribunal found Mujahid guilty of four of seven charges: specifically Charges 3, 5, 6 (which the Tribunal combined with Charge 1, because both stem from the same events), and 7. He was acquitted of Charges 2 and 4.

The Charges and the Verdict:

  • Charge 1: Abetting Abduction as a Crime Against Humanity, or in the alternative, abetting murder as a Crime Against Humanity. This charge was combined with Charge 6 as the Tribunal felt that both pertained to the same incident, the massacre of the Bangladeshi intellectual community in December of 1971.
  • Charge 2: Persecution as a Crime Against Humanity, or in the alternative, for abetting Genocide by participating in an attack on the Hindu villages of Baidyadangi, Majhidangi and Baladangi. Charged under Section 3(2)(c)(g) of the Act and Sections 4(1) and 4(2). Acquitted.
  • Charge 3: Confinement as a Crime Against Humanity for his role in the confinement and torture of Ranji Nath, alias Babu Nath. Found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment for five years.
  • Charge 4: Abetting the crime of Confinement and causing Inhumane Acts as Crimes against Humanity under Section 3(2)(a)(g) for his alleged involvement in the abduction and torture of Abu Yusuf. Acquitted.
  • Charge 5: Abetting murder as a Crime Against Humanity for ordering the killing of detainees at the army camp at old MP Hostel, Nakhalpara, Dhaka. Found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment for life.
  • Charge 6: Abetting murder as a Crime Against Humanity, or in the alternative, abetting Genocide against the intellectual group. Charged under Section 3(2)(c)(g) read with Sections 4(1) and 4(2). Found guilty and sentenced to death in conjunction with Charge 7.
  • Charge 7: Participating in and Facilitating the commission of Murder as a Crime Against Humanity, or in the alternative, for persecution as a Crime Against Humanity, for his roll in an attack on the Hindu community on 13 May 1971. Found guilty and sentenced to death in conjunction with Charge 6.

The Tribunal noted that it considered Mujahid’s “superior position of authority on the Al-Badar force together with the intrinsic gravity and degree and pattern of criminal acts” as aggravating factors that further justified the death sentence.

The full judgment can be found here: Mujahid Judgment

Additionally, we will be publishing our full summary of the case and the Tribunal’s conclusions in the near future. Please check back frequently for updates. 

16 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin – PW 1 and 2

A nationwide hartal was called in response to the conviction and sentencing of Professor Gholam Azam. Our coverage of the day’s proceedings is collected from media sources and from conversations with both the Defense and Prosecution teams.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, in absentia

In the joint case against Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, both of whom are being tried in absentia, the Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief of two prosecution witnesses. Ms Masuda Banu Ratna testified as Prosecution witness 1, followed by Asif Munir, as Prosecution witness 2. Ms. Masuda Banu Ratna (PW 1) was cross-examined by the two state appointed defense attorneys, Mr Shukur who is representing Ashrafuzzaman and Ms Tuny who is representing Mueen Uddin prior to PW-2’s examination-in-chief.

Prosecution witness 1
Prosecution witness 1: Ms. Masuda Banu Ratnatestified that both Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman took part in anti-independence programs on Dhaka University campus and that she knew them at that time. She stated that she saw the two in a meeting held at the Arts Faculty Building in Dhaka University campus on 15 August 1971, marking the independence day of Pakistan. She stated that Ashrafuzzaman and Mueen Uddin were involved in the abduction of her uncle Professor Giasuddin Ahmed. The witness stated that she gathered information about various anti-independence groups and their activities by roaming around various areas, including Dhaka University campus. The Defense counsel claimed that their respective clients were not involved in the abduction of Prof. Giasuddin on 14 December 1971, as alleged in the charge framing order.

Prosecution witness 2
Following the cross-examination of Prosecution witness 1, the Tribunal recorded the examination-in-chief of Prosecution witness 2, Asif Munir. The witness is the son of an intellectual Professor, Munir Chowdhury, who was killed in the December 1971 round-up of Bangladesh’s intellectual community. Munir Chowdhury was a professor in the Bangla Department of Dhaka University. The witness testified that his father was abducted by Al-Badr men from their house in Central Road, Dhaka on 14 December 1971, just two days prior to Bangladesh’s victory against the Pakistani army. He stated his father was targeted because he was vocally opposed to the then Pakistani government for its anti-Bengali stance. His cross-examination is to be held tomorrow, 18 July 2013.

16 July 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Chowdhury DW 3

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases: 

Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury
In the Chowdhury case, the Tribunal heard the examination-in-Chief of Qayyum Reza Chowdhury, Defense Witness 3. Thereafter, Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow, 17 July 2013. 

Examination-in-Chief
Qayyum Reza Chowdhury testified that he is a businessman and that Salauddin Qader Chowdhury is his cousin. He stated that he took admission in Saheen School in 1964 and met Sheikh Kamal (son of Bangabondhu) and Nizam Ahmed (DW-2) while there. Qayyum testified that Bangabondhu used to drop Sheikh Kamal and Nizam Ahmed with his car, number 3131, at the school. The witness said that he took admission at Notre Dame College after passing his SSC in 1966 from Saheen School. He further testified that Salman F Rahman, Salauddin Qader Chowdhury and Nizam Ahmed also took admission at Notre Dame College and that they became closer while studying there. Qayyum testified that while Salauddin was a student of Notre Dame, he (Salauddin) resided in Eskaton. Qayyum testified that subsequently they all took admission at Dhaka University and participated in the movement to free Bangabondhu who was accused of involvement in the Agortola Conspiracy Case. Qayyum testified that when Salauddin Qader Chowdhury took admission at Dhaka University, he (Salauddin) began living in Dhanmondi. The witness testified that when Asad was shot he, Salman F Rahman and Salauddin Qader Chowdhury were present very nearby behind a tree. Nizam was t,wo feet away from Asad and Khairul Bashar was near a riot van. Qayyum testified that when Salauddin Qader Chowdhury was a student of Dhaka University and resided at Dhanmondi political leaders frequently went to his house. Qayyum testified that he (Qayyum) was good in English and for that reason was assigned by Bangabondhu to work with his press secretary, Badsha in handling foreign journalists, translation and typing related works. Qayyum testified that Salaudin Qader Chowdhury was present at Race-course field with him during the historic speech of Bangabondhu on 7 March, 1971. Continue reading