19 June 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Chowdhury Testifies as DW 1

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury

Today, 19 June 2013, Tribunal continued hearing the testimony of the Salauddin Qader Chowdhury, Defense witness 1, for the third consecutive day. The witness began by expressing his belief regarding the difference between perception and reality. The Prosecution objected that such testimony is speculative and that a witness may only give testimony based on fact. Thereafter, The Tribunal continued to allow Chowdhury’s statements regarding his beliefs to be recorded but noted the Prosecution’s objection. The Prosecution argued that the witness’ testimony  should be be confined to the time frame relevant to the charges, namely the span of 26 March to 16 December 1971. The Defense countered that if the Prosecution could cite any rule or section of the Act which limits the content of a deposition, they would respect the rule. 

After the lunch break, the witness testified that he is a Bangladeshi by choice not by birth. He testified that in 1971 he was the student of final year honors in Political Science at Punjab University, and that on 16 December 1971 he was residing in London, United Kingdom. He stated that he returned to Bangladesh in April of 1974. He testified that was required to surrender his British travel documents to the Immigration Department in order to obtain a Bangladeshi passport. He then provided detailed description of his life in the United Kingdom.

The witness testified that his father was killed on 18 July 1973 in Dhaka Central Jail. The Prosecution objected to the word ‘killed,’ but the Tribunal recorded the statement with as stated. The witness testified that he did not return to Bangladesh in a furtive or secretive manner as suggested by the Prosecution. Chowdhury asserted that the relationship between his father, Fazlul Qader Chowdhury, and Banghabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was recorded by the late Banghobandhu himself in his autobiography. Chowdhury noted that the Prosecution did not exhibit this autobiography. Thereafter, Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until 20 June 2013.

Courtroom Dynamics and Administrative Notes
The Chairman of Tribunal 1 continued to be absent as he is on leave. The Accused continued to testify without taking the usual oath, agains following the Prosecution’s objection. The Prosecution continued to argue that the witness’ testimony has no relevance to the charges and requested that the Tribunal limit the time granted for such testimony in order ensure an effective and expeditious trial.