Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:
- Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami
In the Motiur Rahman Nizami case the Defense conducted the cross-examination of the Prosecution Witness 11, Shamsul Haque alias Nannu, who testified in support of charge 2 and 15. The Tribunal then adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow, 7 July 2013.
Cross-Examination of PW 11
During examination-in-chief, the witness testified that on 24 March, 1971, a shopkeeper named Sikander Ali told him that that the Secretary of Islami Chattra Shangho, Motiur Rahman Nizami, along with Maulana Ishaq, Maulana Sobhan, Rafiqun Nabi alias Bablu formed a group sitting at the Pabna Aliya Madrassa. He told the witness that the group was composed of activists of Islami Chhatra Shangho and Jamaat-e-Islami and planned to assist the Pakistani Army. The Defense asked the witness about Sikendar Ali and the name of the other members of the group that was allegedly formed.
The Defense also asked the witness how he found out about the alleged incident of 11 April 1971, when the Pakistani Army, along with Nizami and his group, attacked the house located at Shalgaria, looting and burning it and and beating the family members of the witness. Nannu replied that he had seen whole the incident from the roof of the adjacent house of Horein Shaha. The Defense asked the witness about his neighborhood and the family members who were allegedly present and whether any are still living. They also asked about his bother-in-law, the brother of the witness’ second wife. The witness failed to answer these questions. The Defense asked the witness how long the witness was married to his second wife. Nannu replied 25 years. The Defense asked the witness about his first wife and his children. The Prosecution then objected, claiming that the cross-examination should be strictly limited to the subject matter of the examination-in-chief as per Rule 53(2). Furthermore they objected to questions regarding the witness’ personal life. Citing Rule 58A the Prosecution also referred to provisions for witness protection. The Defense countered that Rule 53(2) also provides them the right to question the witness so as to discredit his testimony. Thereafter, Tribunal allowed the question.
The Defense claimed that after the Liberation War some 40 cases were filed regarding the killing of intellectuals but noted that Nizami was not an accused in a single case. The witness replied that he did not remember anything about such cases. The Defense claimed that regarding the incident at Sathia, cases were filed under the Collaborators Act accusing 30 Razakars of being criminally responsible. The witness replied that he did not remember. During the examination-in-chief the witness testified that he gave an interview to the National Geographic channel in which he described this incident as the worst mass killing in the world. The Defense asked the witness whether he gave any other interviews to the media. Nannu replied that he did not. The Defense asked the witness whether he mentioned the name of Nizami in his interview to the National Geographic channel. The witness replied that he could not remember. The Defense claimed that Nizami was always a civilian. The witness denied the claim. The Defense also claimed that in the list of the freedom fighters, recorded as a gazette by government ,the witness’ name is not listed. The witness denied that. During examination-in-chief, the witness testified that he is now 60 years old. The Defense claimed that his date of birth is 10-11-1953. The witness replied that he does not remember his exact date of birth. The Defense claimed that the witness is hiding his date of birth in bad faith, which the witness denied.
The Defense then argued that the incriminating allegations to which the witness testified during his examination-in-chief were not part of what he told the Investigation Officer during his initial interview. They enumerated each of the allegations. The witness replied that he had told the Investigation Officer about each incident.
The Defense alleged that the witness was taken by the Directorate of General Forces Intelligence to meet with the Prime Minister prior to coming to the Tribunal to testify. The witness denied the allegation. The Defense claimed that just before the general election the witness’ son was injured in a political clash and that a case was filed accusing his son of wrongdoing. The witness denied that as well. The Defense further claimed that his son received a job in police as Assistant Superintendant of Police after the election. The witness admitted that. The Defense claimed that the witness, for his interviews with the media, signed an affidavit said that he did not see Nizami in 1971. They alleged that his brother-in-law Hamidur Rahman was the lawyer officiating the affidavit. The witness denied that. The Defense claimed that AKM Shamsul Huda, a notary public from where affidavit is signed is a close relative of the witness. The witness denied that. The Prosecution objected to the line of questioning, saying that the Defense cannot question the witness about a document which has not been exhibited. The Defense replied that they were only drawing the witness’ attention to the documents. The Defense alleged that the witness is involved with the politics of Awami League and that he is providing false testimony against Nizami at the instruction of the leaders of the Awami League. The witness denied the allegation.