Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:
1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin
Prosecutor Haider Ali concluded the Prosecution closing arguments in the case against Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan. In his concluding remarks, he sought the highest punishment of death sentence for both the Accused.
Prosecutor Haider Ali submitted that the series of events regarding the targeted abduction and killing of Bangalee intellectuals on the eve of Bangladesh’s victory in the nine months war against Pakistan is not disputed. However, in order to link these events to the Accused on trial, Counsel devoted some portion of his time today to highlighting discernible patterns and similarities between the abductions alleged in Charges 1 thru 11. The Prosecution argued that exhibited documentary evidence, including books and contemporaneous newspapers, corroborated by witness testimony, indicated that this targeted killing had been administered and executed systematically by Al-Badr paramilitary forces. Counsel further submitted that the Prosecution has successfully shown that Al-Badr death squad included Chowdhury Mueen Uddin as the Operation-in-Charge and Ashrafuzzaman Khan as Chief Executor. The Prosecutor argued that it was not necessary to prove that the Accused had given the specific instructions or orders for the targeted killing, because this could be deduced from circumstantial evidence.
Turning to the issue of sentencing, Counsel argued that anything less than the death penalty, in the event the Accused were found guilty, would be inappropriate. When making this point, the Prosecutor highlighted how socially devastating it had been to the country to lose so many of its intellectuals to these targeted killings. Counsel argued that this effectively hadicapped the nation, and therefore deserved the highest punishment available.
After the Prosecution concluded their arguments, the Defense counsel sought time for the preparation of their own summation. The State-appointed defense counsel explained that at has been difficult for them to do their work, in the absence of client instruction. The Court granted this request.