1 August 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – ICT-1 Daily Summary – Chowdhury Defense Closing Arguments Begin

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury

Today in the Nizami case Prosecution witness 16 was scheduled to testify. However, the Prosecution failed to produce the witness and requested adjournment. The Tribunal allowed the request and fixed 11 August for recording the testimony of Prosecution witness 16.

In the case of Salauddin Qader Chowdhury, Defense counsel Ahsanul Huq Hena sought adjournment until Sunday, 4 August 2013, saying that he is sick. The Tribunal said that they cannot adjourn the case because of one Defense attorney’s illness when another Defense counsel is available in the same case. Thereafter, Ahsanul Huq Hena began the Defense’s Closing Arguments.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury
The Defense submitted that the Investigation Officer Md Nurul Islam of this case is also the complainant. Citing to a case of the High Court of Bangladesh, the Defense argued that the complainant and the investigator cannot be the same person because he will be biased in attempting to prove his complaint. The Defense stated that Prosecution was unable to produce vital witnesses and did not provide any explanation for their failure. Furthermore, the Defense asserted that the Investigation Officer admitted that he had no documents showing that Salauddin Qader Chowdhury was a member or activist of any political party in 1971. The Defense claimed that Salauddin Qader Chowdhury was not involved in politics and was not a member of the Razakar, Al-Badr or Al-Shams. The Investigation Officer only alleged that Salauddin Qader Chowdhury was a follower of his father. The Defense argued that this indicates that the case against Salauddin Qader Chowdhury is merely because of the role his father played in the war.

The Defense then argued that where there are contradictions between witness testimony and other evidence regarding the time, place, manner of the alleged crime, then the Charge cannot be considered proved. The Defense’s case is two pronged: 1) they have presented evidence and testimony supporting Chowdhury’s alibi and 2) they have shown that he was not complicit or involved with the alleged incidents. The Defense submitted President Yahya Khan and Fazlul Qader Chowdhury (father of Salauddin Qader Chowdhury) did not have a good relationship and that President Yahya Khan seized the assets of the Convention Muslim League and sent Shindi police to Goods Hill, taking possession of the home. He stated that this fact was confirmed by Prosecution witness Salimullah’s testimony (PW-2). Goods Hill was selected as a base by the Pakistan Army because of its location; it was easy to observe the city from Goods Hill. The Defense also asserted that the Army attacked Chowdhury’s care, with plate number  EBC 300. The car can still be seen and shows the evidence of the shooting it underwent. The Defense alleged that the Prosecution falsified a story about the damage being the result of a grenade attack by freedom fighters. Defense submitted that Prosecution even failed to give the number of the vehicle and its whereabouts. The Defense asserted the driver Ahmed died in the shooting. Thereafter, Defense Counsel again requested adjournment due to his illness. Tribunal allowed the prayer and adjourned the case until Sunday 4 August 2013.