Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:
- Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami
Today the Tribunal recorded the testimony of Jamal Uddin, Prosecution witness 17, in the case against Motiur Rahman Nizami. Jamal Uddin testified in support of Charges 2, 4 and 6. The Defense Counsel began its cross-examination of the witness but did not complete it before the close of the day’s session.
Prosecution witness 17, Jamal Uddin, testified in support of charges 2, 4 and 6. Charge 2 alleges that Motiur Rahman Nizami conspired to commit crimes under section 3(2)(g) of the ICT Act 1973, resulting in murder, rape and deportation of victims as Crimes Against Humanity. He is accused of being liable as a party to a joint criminal enterprise under section 4(1), and due to his superior responsibility under section 4(2) of the Act. Under Charge 4 the Prosecution alleges that Motiur Rahman Nizami conspired to commit crimes under section 3(2)(g) of the ICT Act and was complicit in murder, rape, looting and destruction of properties as crimes against humanity in the village Karamja, He is therefore charged under section 3(2)(a), 3(2)(h), and 3(2)(g). The charges cite both section 4(1) and 4(2) as the relevant modes of liability. Charge 6 alleges that Motiur Rahman Nizami raided the homes of Dr. Abdul Awal and others in Dhulaura. Having detained a number of persons it is alleged that Nizami was involved in first handing over at least 30 persons to the Pakistani army to be killed and later killing an additionally 22 persons who initially escaped. He is charged under section 3(2)(a), with liability specified under sections 4(1) and 4(2).
Jamal Uddin, Prosecution witness 17, testified that he was a freedom fighter and the Deputy Commander of Muktijuddha Shangshod. He stated that in December 2000, with the help of local administration led by the then minister Professor Abu Sayed, some bones and skulls of human being were recovered in an excavation next to the house of Megha Thakur. The witness testified that he learned from the people who were gathered watching the excavation that in May 1971 the Pakistani Army and local Razakars led by Motiur Rahman Nizami surrounded the home of Megha Thakur and killed 9 unarmed people. Additionally they raped Megha Thakur’s daughter and daughter-in-law.
Jamal Uddin additionally testified that on 12 November 1971, Razakar, Al-Badr and Pakistani Army forces led by Nizami attempted to catch one Johirul Huq. Failing to apprehend him they set fire to several homes in the Hindu community and raped two Hindu women. The witness then testified that he heard from Aynul Huq, then headmaster of Ruposhi Primary School, and from Shamsul Rahman, alias Nannu, that in the beginning of May 1971 Motiur Rahman Nizami, the then leader of Islami Chhatra Shangho, attended a meeting at Ruposhi Primary School along with local Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shangho activists in order to form Razakar and Al-Badr forces. Jamal testified that he had also heard that in the early morning of 14 May 1971 the Pakistani Army, local Razakars and Al-Badr led by Motiur Rahman Nizami surrounded the village of Ruposhi, Demra and Baousgari where they shot and killed 450 unarmed people. Additionally they set 200/300 houses on fire, looted the houses of Hindus, and raped both Muslim and Hindu women.
The witness testified that on 27 November 1971, three or four groups of freedom fighters took possession at Dulauri village. They were informed around 2:30 or 3 am that the Pakistani Army, Razakar and Al-Badr forces, led by Motiur Rahman Nizami, had raided the village and killed 9 freedom fighters and 14 unarmed civilians from that village. He stated that among the freedom fighters who were attacked, one named Sahjahan Ali survived. However Nizami instructed Sattar Razakar to slit the survivor’s throat while Nizami was present. Jamal further testified that when the Pakistani Army, Razakars and Al-Badr forces were leaving they caught Samad, a student of Edward College, with a grenade. They took him to the Sathia police station and killed him by hanging him from a tree and stabbing him with bayonettes. Jamal testified that Nizam Uddin, Abdul Latif, Lokman Hossain, and the then headmaster Romiz Uddin told him about this incident. The witness testified that they told him that Nizami was present during this killing.
Finally Jamal testified that he learned from detained Razakars and Al-Badr members that the crimes committed in Sathia and different parts of Pabna were committed by the instruction and advice of Motiur Rahman Nizami. The witness acknowledged that he was previously interviewed by the Investigation Officer and identified Nizami in the dock.
The Defense alleged that the witness is the secretary of Dhulauri union area’s Awami League. The witness acknowledged this to be true. The Defense then asked the witness whether he studied after the SSC examination. The witness replied that he could not manage to complete further study. The Defense claimed that the witness was arrested because hee failed to surrender his arms after the liberation war, and that this was the reason he could not complete further studies. The witness denied the allegation and asserted that he has never been arrested. The Defense claimed that the present government appointed the witness as the secretary of Kausaria Kamil Madrasa. The witness admitted that. The Defense asked the witness about his room at Kausaria Kamil Madrasa. The witness replied that he has a seat beside the headmaster. The Defense asked the witness about Majeda Khatun, the wife of Moazzem Hossen. The witness replied he does not know her. The Defense claimed that the name of the witness’ second wife is Majeda Khatun. The witness replied that the name of his second wife is Mojeda Khatun not Majeda Khatun.
The Defense then asked the witness about his training as a freedom fighter, his knowledge of the union council chairman or secretary of his area in 1971, his knowledge of the identity of members of Razakar, Al-Badr and Peace Committee forces in his area, how he traveled to India, where he took training, the location of the training camp, when he returned to Bangladesh, and the areas where he claimed to have taken part in different operations /fights, etc.
The Defense questioned the witness about his whereabouts during the period from 18 April until his departure for India in June. The witness replied that he was at his home and beside Sathia. During the examination-in-chief, the witness testified that on 27 November 1971, freedom fighters took possession at Dulauri village. The Defense asked the witness about the location of Dulauri village. They claimed that Pabna was liberated on 6 December 1971. The witness replied that he cannot remember the date of the liberation. The Defense also asserted that Sathia was liberated on 2 November 1971. The witness disagreed and stated that as far he can recall Sathia was not liberated on 2 November 1971.
During examination-in-chief, the witness testified on 27 November 1971 at 2:30 or 3 am the Pakistani Army, Razakar and Al-Badr forces, led by Motiur Rahman Nizami, raided the village and killed 9 freedom fighters and 14 unarmed people of Dulauri village by firing and set the houses on fire. The witness testified that among the freedom fighters one named Sahjahan Ali sill survived who was slit by Sattar Razakar and after the operation when Pakistani Army, Razakar and Al-Badr were leaving they caught Samad, a student of Edward College with grenade and took them in the Sathia police station and killed him. Defense asked the witness whether, other than Sahjahan and Samad, any freedom fighter was caught by the Pakistani Army. The witness replied he does not know. The Tirbunal then completed its session for the day. The Defense will be given the opportunity to continue its cross-examination of the witness in the next session.