16 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin – PW 1 and 2

A nationwide hartal was called in response to the conviction and sentencing of Professor Gholam Azam. Our coverage of the day’s proceedings is collected from media sources and from conversations with both the Defense and Prosecution teams.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, in absentia

In the joint case against Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, both of whom are being tried in absentia, the Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief of two prosecution witnesses. Ms Masuda Banu Ratna testified as Prosecution witness 1, followed by Asif Munir, as Prosecution witness 2. Ms. Masuda Banu Ratna (PW 1) was cross-examined by the two state appointed defense attorneys, Mr Shukur who is representing Ashrafuzzaman and Ms Tuny who is representing Mueen Uddin prior to PW-2’s examination-in-chief.

Prosecution witness 1
Prosecution witness 1: Ms. Masuda Banu Ratnatestified that both Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman took part in anti-independence programs on Dhaka University campus and that she knew them at that time. She stated that she saw the two in a meeting held at the Arts Faculty Building in Dhaka University campus on 15 August 1971, marking the independence day of Pakistan. She stated that Ashrafuzzaman and Mueen Uddin were involved in the abduction of her uncle Professor Giasuddin Ahmed. The witness stated that she gathered information about various anti-independence groups and their activities by roaming around various areas, including Dhaka University campus. The Defense counsel claimed that their respective clients were not involved in the abduction of Prof. Giasuddin on 14 December 1971, as alleged in the charge framing order.

Prosecution witness 2
Following the cross-examination of Prosecution witness 1, the Tribunal recorded the examination-in-chief of Prosecution witness 2, Asif Munir. The witness is the son of an intellectual Professor, Munir Chowdhury, who was killed in the December 1971 round-up of Bangladesh’s intellectual community. Munir Chowdhury was a professor in the Bangla Department of Dhaka University. The witness testified that his father was abducted by Al-Badr men from their house in Central Road, Dhaka on 14 December 1971, just two days prior to Bangladesh’s victory against the Pakistani army. He stated his father was targeted because he was vocally opposed to the then Pakistani government for its anti-Bengali stance. His cross-examination is to be held tomorrow, 18 July 2013.