31 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Khan and Mueen Uddin PW 8, Alim adjournment

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

Today the  Tribunal recorded the testimony of PW-8 in the case against Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, both of whom are being tried in absentia. The testimony of Prosecution witness 8 supports Charge 3.  After hearing the witness’ testimony the Tribunal adjourned for the day as the Defense counsel for Alim submitted an application for additional time. The reason for the application was senior Defense counsel Ahsanul Haque Hena’s illness. He was present but had lost his voice and so was unable to conduct proceedings. The Tribunal adjourned the case until 4 August.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Khan and Mueen Uddin
Mr. ANM Golam Rahman Dulu, Prosecution witness 8, testified in support of Charge 3.

The witness stated that his brother ANM Mostafa worked for the Daily Purbadesh as a Senior Journalist and was affiliated with left wing politics during the war. Previously, Mostafa also worked for the Daily Azad. He wrote various articles that were pro-independence, which led to an ideological clash between him and his colleague Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, who also worked for the Daily Purbadesh as a Staff Reporter.

On 11th December 1971 at around 6 A.M., engineer Shamsuddoha, the elder brother of Mostafa’s wife, came to the witness’ house in a jeep with militia and Al-Badr members. The victim Mostafa was walking on the balcony when they arrived. Some of the alleged Al-Badr or militia members were in civilian dress but with masked faces, while others wore an ash colored uniform and were armed. They confirmed Mostafa’s name and asked him to accompany them. These men consoled the father of the victim by saying that he was being taken with them only for identification purpose and would be returned soon.

After waiting for two hours, the witness went to the office of Purba Desh to look for his brother Mostafa. There he met the senior staff reporter Atiqur Rahman and the news editor Ehtesam Haider. Learning of ANM Mostafa’s abduction Mr Haider immediately called the editor, Mr Mahbubul Huq, to inform him about the incident and told him that Chowdhury Mueen Uddin must have been involved. The witness was present during this conversation and for the first time heard the name of Mueen Uddin.

After a while Mueen Uddin came to the office. Haider asked him in an excited manner whether he was aware of Mueen Uddin’s abduction. They asked Mueen Udddin to see what could be done to find him and asked him to take the witness with him while looking for the abducted Mostafa. At this point, senior staff reported Atiqur became cynical about the idea of the witness accompanying Mueen Uddin and proposed that the witness should stay there. However, the witness stated that he insisted on going with Mueen Uddin to look for his brother. Both Mueen Uddin and the witness then started in a rickshaw to look for his abducted brother.

They first went to the office of Islami Chatra Shangha (ICS). Mueen Uddin went inside the office for ten minutes and told the witness after coming out that no information about Mostafa’s whereabouts had been found. The two then went to Ramna Police Station but still found nothing. The witness at this point asked Mueen Uddin to visit Mohammadpur Physical Training Center since he knew that people were being take there to be detained and tortured. Upon hearing the suggestion of the witness, Mueen Uddin stared at him for moments and then agreed. They then went to the Physical Training Center. The militia guarding the gate stood at attention as Mueen Uddin approached the gate. Mueen Uddin asked the guards about someone named Ashraf. The witness said during this time he was waiting in the Rickshaw watching. Mueen Uddin came back after some time and said that no news could be found. The guards at the gate also showed respect to Mueen Uddin on his way out. Mueen Uddin then asked the accused to go home as curfew would begin at 3 pm.

The witness went back to the office of the Daily Purbadesh to update his brother’s colleagues about what had happened. Upon hearing the name of Ashraf, Haider and Atiqur said that this referred to Ashrafuzzaman Khan. They also told the witness that there was an argument between the victim Mostafa and Mueen Uddin.

After Bangladesh’s victory on 16th December 1971, the witness continued looking for his brother, assuming that he had been killed. He searched among many corpses in many places but never found his brother’s body. Soon after, the Daily Purbadesh published the photographs of Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman as the main culprits of the killing of intellectuals.

The witness stated that he later began working for the Daily Purbadesh in February of 1972. While there he learned that Mueen Uddin had also asked for Mr Atiqur’s address but was given wrong address. Mr Atiqur also told the witness about a documentary named War Crimes File that contains further information about the involvement of the accused.

The state appointed Defense counsel for Ashrafuzzaman Khan simply suggested to the witness that he did not hear the name of Ashraf being mentioned by Mueen at the gates of the Physical Training Center.

Defense counsel for Chowdhury Mueen Uddin suggested that the victim Mostafa merely worked at the desk as an editor in Purbadesh and therefore could not have been the author of pro-independence articles. Upon questioning by the Defense, the witness stated that the intruders who came to his house may not have known his brother but it appeared that they came there with specific information about his brother. The Defense counsel suggested that those who came to their house did not know the victim and so could not have included Mueen Uddin.

She further suggested that the witness never heard the name of the accused at any time before or during the abduction process and only came to hear his name later. Finally, she suggested that the witness’ allegations that Mueen Uddin was involved in the killing of ANM Mostafa are based only on assumption. She asserted that Mueen Uddin had already left the country at the time of the incident. The witness denied these suggestions.