18 June 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Jalal contempt proceedings, Alim Cross Examination of PW 25

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Contempt Proceedings vs. Jahir Uddin Jalal
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

In the contempt proceedings against Jahir Uddin Jalal, the Tribunal granted additional time to Jalal’s lawyer to prepare his explanation, and set June 30 as the date for the next hearing. In the Abdul Alim case, defense counsel Hena conducted the cross examination of Prosecution witness 25. The counsel mainly directed his questioning towards the credibility of the witness. 

Contempt Proceedings vs. Jahir Uddin Jalal
The first item of the day was the contempt matter against Jahir Uddin Jalal, alias ‘Bicchu,’ for his alleged attack against defense counsel Munshi Ahsan Kabir during the Defense’s closing submission in the Mujahid case. Counsel for the Accused Mansur Rashid was late to court, and the Accused himself mentioned the matter before the Tribunal. Mansur then appeared before the Tribunal and sought additional time to prepare the explanation on behalf of Jalal. The Tribunal allowed the request and fixed 30 June 2013 as the date for the next hearing.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim
Cross Examination of PW 25
The witness, Ajit Mohond, stated that he has 2 brothers and 3 sisters. His older brother is Onil Chandra Mohond and his younger brother is Rorin Chandra Mohond. His sisters, in order of age, are Mira, Minoty and Molina Mohond. In reply to a question posed by the Defense, the witness stated that he cannot remember whether his siblings were at home when the incident took place on April 26, 1971. The witness neither remembered when the Peace Committee was formed in Jaipurhat nor who were its Secretary or Members. He further stated that he does not have any documentary evidence showing that the Accused was the Chairman of the Peace Committee.

The witness stated that he did not vote in the last parliamentary election, but served as a polling agent. He was unable to precisely recall his date of birth. He studied in Khimukhi High School in Komor village, and finished his Secondary School Certificate (SSC) in 1978. He cannot remember his date of birth as it appears in his SSC Certificate.

The witness stated that as far as he remembers, he told the Investigation Officer that he was a student in Class 5 in 1971. He then stated that the Chairman of Borail Union is Khalilur Rahman and the chairman of Alampur Union is Sheblu. He does not know who the chairman or members of his Union/District were during 1971.

In response to a question posed by the Defense, the witness replied that he used to recite poems at school functions. The witness recalled that the headmaster of Komor Gram Dimukhi School was Abdus Salam. The witness did not remember when the school reopened after March 26, 1971.

The witness testified that Alim’s house was beside the police station. He did not know if there was a Hindu village called Kuripara. He stated that Maolana Rashid had two sons named Iqbal and Ishtiaq Ahmed Dulal. The witness admitted that he knows Vogirath Chandra Barman, Prosecution witness 24.  The witness’s house was half a kilometer away from Barman’s house.

On April 26, 1971, the witness said he did not go to other Hindu houses. In reply to the defense counsel’s question as to whether the witness had any documentary evidence concerning the deaths of Noni Devnath, Laxman Devnath and Gopen Devnath, the witness replied that his own eyes and memories are his evidence. He also rejected the Defense’s suggestion that Noni, Gopen and Laxman left for India before 1971. He said that their children later went to India.

The witness stated that he did not know whether Maolana Jasim Uddin opposed the liberation of Bangladesh, but was certain that Uddin supported Alim in 1970. The witness then said that he did not show the Investigation Officer the hiding places because he was busy. The witness testified that while he was giving his statement to the IO, Bhogiroth, Jogen and Roshik were present, among others.

The witness denied that in 1971 or at any time, Alim did not have a “chatal” (rice mill). It was further suggested to him that the Alim was not the Chairman, and that Abbas Ali Khan was actually the local Chairman.

Finally, it was suggested to the witness that he was not in Bangladesh at all in 1971, and that he gave fabricated testimony as coached by the Prosecution.