16 June 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Mueen Uddin and Khan Charges, Alim Cross Examination of PW 24

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1.  Chief Prosecutor vs. Chowdhury Mueen Uuddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

The Prosecution read out the charges against Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan, and the Tribunal fixed June 24, 2013, as the date for delivering the Charge Framing Order.  In the Alim case, Defense counsel Ahsanul Huq Hena concluded the cross examination of Prosecution witness 24. The Prosecution will call its 25th witness on June 17, 2013.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan
The Prosecution today read out all 16 charges against Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan, who are currently living in London and New York, respectively, and are being tried in absentia. Prosecutor Shahidur Rahman submitted that Mueen Uddin was the “operation-in-charge” of Al-Badr, while Ashrafuzzaman acted as the chief executor. The Prosecution submitted that both Mueen Uddin and Khan were direct participants in the killing of Bengali intellectuals and professionals who were brutally targeted between the 10th and 15th of December, 1971, including the eminent journalist Dr. Shahidullah Kaiser. The Prosecution submitted that Mueen Uddin and Khan had abducted and tortured many of these individuals. After hearing the proposed charges, the Tribunal fixed June 24, 2013 as the date for delivering the Charge Framing Order against the Accused.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim
Cross Examination of PW 24
Prosecution witness 24, Bhagirath Chandra Barman, stated in reply to a question from the Defense that he was unable to remember the date on which he gave his statement to the Investigation Officer beside the Dom Pond. He said that on the day of the incident, he was wearing pants and a shirt. He stated that he did not know whether Muslims died in Jaipurhat during the war of liberation. The name of his area was Koroikadipur, and many people, including both Muslims and Hindus, resided there. He recalled that there were 6 or 7 houses in his area that belonged to Muslims, and could not estimate the number of Muslims living within these houses. The witness testified that he knows Asir Ali Sheikh.

The witness denied that he is the Agriculture and Union Secretary of No. 1 Ward Awami League in Bombu Union. He stated that he does not know who the Chairman and Members of his local Union were in 1971. He also said that he does not know who the Peace Committee Chairman or Members were in his local Union. The Defense then asked whether the witness even knows the name of the Secretary of the Peace Committee in Jaipurhat Mohokuma. The witness replied that he does not know. He is also not aware of whether there was Hindu area called Turi Para next to Alim’s house. The witness visited Koroi Madrasa (an Islamic education institution) prior to the day of the incident. He testified that he does not know who the head of the Madrasa was, and that no one was in the Madrasa on the day of the occurrence in question.

The witness stated that Dom pond is jointly owned by many people, and that he did not know Afsar before the incident. The witness recalled that on the day of the incident, no one else was present when he talked to Afsar in front of his house. The witness then said that he does not know the name of the Peace Committee members who came to their village with flags bearing the symbol of the moon and star.

The Defense alleged that the witness did not tell the Investigation Officer that the incident took place on a Monday in the second week of then Bengali month of Boishakh in 1971. The Defense counsel then suggested that there were many contradictions between what the witness told the Investigation officer and what he testified to court (including the major portion of the witness’s testimony, which the Tribunal recorded as contradictory).

The witness then denied that he was falsely alleging that Alim was the chairman of the Peace Committee and a Muslim League leader. He further denied that it was the Alim who saved the lives of many who would have been killed otherwise. The witness stated that he does not know whether Abbas Ali Khan was the Peace Committee chairman of Jaipurhat.

The Defense then suggested that the testimony of the witness was fabricated and demonstrates the mala fide intention of the Prosecution, and that whatever the witness stated before the Tribunal did not actually occur, but was rather a malicious plot created by the Prosecution.