Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:
- Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami
In the case of Motiur Rahman Nizami, the Prosecution filed an application under 9(4) of the ICT Act, to admit 13 books as additional documents. The Defense filed another application under 19(2) of the ICT Act, to allow the statements of three deceased Prosecution witnesses. Thereafter, Tribunal recorded the testimony of two seizure list witnesses—Azabuddin Mia (PW-24) and Swapon Kumar Biswas (PW-25)—and the Defense conducted cross-examination.
Regarding the first application, for admission of the 13 books, the Defense objected to what the Prosecution had acknowledged was a “continuous process” of collecting evidence. The Defense submitted that, under rule 11 of the Rules of Procedure, the investigation cannot continue for an uncertain period of time. Regarding the second application, the Defense asked for a copy of the death certificates and inspection of any police report confirming the death of the three witnesses. After hearing both Prosecution and Defense submissions, the Tribunal allowed the 13 books into evidence as additional documents under section 9(4) of the ICT Act, and admitted the witness statements of the three Prosecution witnesses as evidence under section 19(2) of the ICT Act. The Court did ask the Prosecution to provide the death certificates, but denied the Defense tequest to inspect the records of police reports.
Examination-in-Chief of PW-24
Azabuddin Mia testified about the seizures of a number of historic newspapers from the Bangla Academy by IO Abdur Razzak and Sahjahan Kabir:
- On 15 May 2011, IO Abdur Razzak seized 33 newspapers from the Bangla Academy, dating back to 1971 and 1972 . Among those publications seized were the daily Shangram (26 copies), the daily Azad (4 copies), the daily Observer (1 copy) and the daily Ittefaq (2 copies). Azabuddin exhibited the scanned copies of these newspapers as Exhibits 2/1 to 2/33.
- On 23 October 2011, IO Abdur Razzak seized 255 copies of newspapers from 1971. Azabuddin exhibited the scanned copies of these newspapers as Exhibits 4/1 to 4/24.
- On 15 May 2012, IO Sahjahan Kabir seized 95 newspapers from Bangla Academy. He exhibited the scanned copies of these newspapers as Exhibits 6/1 to 6/95.
- On 14 June 2012, IO Abdur Razzak seized 25 newspapers from Bangla Academy. Azabuddin exhibited the scanned copies of these newspapers as Exhibits 7/1 to 7/25.
- O27 August 2012, IO Abdur Razzak seized another newspaper. Azabuddin exhibited the scaned copy of this newspaper as Exhibit 8/1. Azabuddin testified that the main copies of all of these newspapers were kept in the custody of the librarian, Mobarak Hossain.
Cross-Examination of PW-24
The Defense asked the witness about the authenticity of the documents exhibited. The witness replied that he did not have any knowledge about the authenticity of the documents.
Examination-in-Chief of PW-25
Swapon Kumar Biswas testified that on 5 July 2011, IO Abdur Razzak seized 11 documents of the liberation war from the Museum. Swapon exhibited the scanned copies of these documents as Exhibits 12/1 to 12/11.
Cross-Examination of PW-25
The Defense suggested to the witness that on 5 July 2011 he had in fact made and signed two seizure lists, but the witness denied this. The witness admitted that the name and signature of the issuer of the Al-Badr ID card were illegible on page 1913. The Defense asked the witness about the authority of whoever had issued the ID card in Exhibit 12/1. The witness replied that he would have to check the original copy. The Defense claimed that the readable part of the exhibits showed that the issuer of the ID cards, and the signatures on both of them, were the Pakistani Army. The witness conceded that this was true.