Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:
- Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami
Today Tribunal the Tribunal heard an application filed by the Prosecution in the Nizami case requesting additional witnesses be admitted under section 9(4) of the ICT Act 1973. The Prosecution argued that under section 19(1) of the ICT Act 1973 the Tribunal is not bound by technical rules of evidence and so there is no bar to allowing additional witnesses at this stage of the proceedings. They further argued that during the investigation material witnesses were found and requested that they be allowed to testify in the interest of justice.
The Defense opposed the Prosecution’s application. They noted that the Prosecution specifically mentioned that the Investigation Officer was conducting further investigation for the purpose of collecting additional witnesses. Citing Rule 11 of the Rules of Procedure, the Defense submitted that the investigation cannot continue for such an uncertain period of time. They asserted that the Prosecution applied for these additional witnesses because their case was insufficent. The Defense argued that the Prosecution did not even explain why they had failed to bring the witnesses from the previous list, a list containing more than 100 witnesses. They deemed the application to be demonstrative of malafide intent and submitted that if Tribunal allowed the additional witnesses at this stage of the trial it would hamper the Defense’s ability to prepare and thereby prejudice the Accused. They requested the Tribunal to reject the application.
After hearing both the sides Tribunal passed an order allowing five additional witnesses. The Prosecution then requested permission to call one of these witnesses to testify as he was present at the Tribunal. The Defense objected and the Tribunal questioned how the Prosecution had seen fit to bring the witness to the Tribunal when they could not have known how the Tribunal would rule on its application. The Defense requested an additional 10 days to prepare for the additional witnesses. The Prosecution opposed the prayer and submitted that there is no scope under law for giving such time. The Tribunal scheduled 29 August for recording the examination-in-chief of Prosecution witness 18 and 1 September for cross-examination.