10 June 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Hartal Coverage, Chowdhury Cross-Examination of PW 41

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor v.s Salauddin Qader Chowdhury

Due to a nation-wide hartal our researchers were unable to attend proceedings today. Our coverage is gathered from media sources and from discussions with the Defense and Prosecution. 

In the Salauddin Qader Chowdhury case, the Defense continued their cross-examination of Md Nurul Islam, the Investigation Officer, Prosecution witness 41. Thereafter, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow, 11 June, 2013.

Cross-Examination of Investigation Officer, PW 41
The Defense asked the witness about Exhibit-32/3, a certified photocopy of the General  Register of a prior case filed regarding the incidents also alleged in this case.  The Defense claimed that charge sheet of that case did not contain the name of Fazlul Qader Chowdhury or Salauddin Qader Chowdhury. The Defense also asked the witness about Exhibit- 32/4 a case filed by Anil Boron Dor (PW-22). The Defense claimed that the witness did not investigate other persons accused in that case, though they were alleged to be responsible for the same incidents.

The Defense then questioned the witness about witnesses who made statements to him that were later admitted before the Tribunal under section 19(2) of the ICT Act, which allows for out-of-court witness statements to be admitted where the witness is unavailable due to death or because their production is impossible. In the Chowdhury case the Tribunal has admitted the statements of the Josna Bala, Janoti Bala Pal, Badsa Mia and Badol Biswash as evidence under section 19(2) of the ICT Act 1973. The Defense claimed that the witness did not attempt to call Josona Bala before the Tribunal between 14 May 2012 and 10 February 2013. The Witness replied that Josona Bala was sick during that time. The Defense asked the witness whether he wrote down the reason for her absence in his case diary. The Investigation Officer replied that he did not because here illness arose it after the completion of investigation. Then the witness altered his answer, saying he cannot say whether Josona Bala was sick but claiming that she was old and died. The Defense expressed doubt that the testimony written down by the Investigation Officer was actually the statement of Josona Bala and noted that her signature Josona Bala does not appear on the statement.

The Defense also alleged that the Investigation Officer did not attempt to find Janoti Bala Pal as a witness between 14 May 2012 and 31 July 2012. The Witness denied the allegation. He further stated that he did not look for her because she was sick and had died. The Defense claimed that between 14 May 2012 and 16 April 2013 the witness did not search for Badsa Mia. He denied this as well and stated that after giving a statement regarding the killing of Ekhlas, Badsa Mia died while receiving medical treatment in CMCH. The Investigation Officer again denied that he fabricated the statements of these Section 19(2) witnesses. The Defense claimed that from 14 May 2012 until the deaths of these witnesses the Investigation Officer purposefully failed to produce these three witnesses before the Tribunal. The Investigation Officer denied the allegation.

The Defense then asked the Investigation about witness Badol Biswash, inquiring whether the Investigation Officer had verified Biswash’s passport number and on-line visa in order to verify his story of going to India. The Investigation replied that he did not check. The Defense claimed that Badol Biswash resided in Bangladesh and that the Prosecution failed to produce him before the Tribunal in bad faith. The Witness denied the allegation.

Finally the Defense asked the witness about the Peace Committee of Chittagong, the Kalurghat war, the chain of command within the Pakistani Army, the Razakar Ordinance, the position of roads between Chittagong and Chittagong University, and the movement of vehicles on different roads of Rawzan, Rangunia, Rangamati and Khagrasori during the war. The Defense claimed that the Accused transferred his academic credits from Dhaka University to Panjab University in April 1971 and completed his graduation from Panjab University in October, 1971. The Defense claimed that the accused sat for his honors exam in August at Panjab University and passed the course in October 1971. The Investigation Officer denied these assertions. The Defense asked whether the Investigation Officer visited Pakistan in order to investigate this alibi. He replied that he did not.