Monthly Archives: September 2013

24 September 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – ATM Azharul Islam, Pre-Trial Submissions

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. ATM Azharul Islam

In the case of ATM Azharul Islam, the Defense made pre-trial submissions seeking dismissal of all charges against the Accused, ATM Azharul Islam, under Rule 37 of the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure. Having heard partial arguments, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings until 3 October 2013, when they will hear the remaining portion of Defense arguments.

Defense Submissions

The Accused in this case faces six charges of Crimes Against Humanity.  The proposed charges include allegations of abduction, confinement, torture, persecution, rape and other inhuman act as underlying elements of Crimes Against Humanity. Defense argued that there is no reference to arson or looting or grievous hurt in section 3(2)(a) of the ICT Act 1973, nor is there any evidence to show that these offences were crimes under customary international law in 1971.  As such, Counsel submitted, there is no scope for framing charges against the Accused petitioner for these particular crimes. In support of their submission, the Defense called the Court’s attention to Article 22(2) of the Rome Statute for the ICC. Continue reading

23 September 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, Prosecution Closing Statements

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin

Prosecutor Shahidur Rahman began his closing submissions by reviewing background and procedural details of the case against Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan. The two accused are being tried jointly in absentia.  They are being represented by State-appointed defense counsels. The Accused Mueen is believed to be in London, while Ashrafuzzaman lives in New York.

Prosecution Shahidur Rahman began his submission with the historical background of the cases, prompting the Bench to asked the Prosecution not to re-iterate the general historical backgrounds of Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971, of which the court was already aware and had already given its findings in Judgments previously delivered. The Court urged counsel to briefly enumerate only the extraordinary facts particularly relevant for this case.  Continue reading

23 September 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Motiur Rahman Nizami, PW-24 and PW-25

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:

  1. 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. Continue reading

22 September 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Abdul Alim, Prosecution rebuttal and Defense application on extension of bail

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

Tribunal 2 allowed Prosecutor Dr. Tureen Afroz to briefly make closing comments in rebuttal to Defense closing submissions. The Tribunal also heard and rejected a Defense application for the extension of bail of the Accused. The Tribunal then declared that the case of Abdul Alim was to be put as CAV (Curia advisari vult), a latin legal term meaning that the court wished to take the evidence under consideration for a final Judgment.

Prosecution Rebuttal and Closing Comments

Prosecutor Dr. Tureen Afroz advised the Court that she would try to briefly rebut some of the issues raised by the defense, address some of the legal questions raised by the judges during Defense closing submissions, and make submissions on sentencing. Continue reading

22 September 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Motiur Rahman Nizami, PW-23

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami

In the case of Motiur Rahman Nizami, the Defense concluded cross-examining Prosecution witness 23, Sayeda Salma Mahmud. She testified in support of charge 16. Thereafter, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow.

Cross-Examination of PW-23

The Defense opened cross-examination by asking the witness about her education and her siblings. During the examination-in-chief, the witness had testified about her aunt Modira’s husband. The witness had testified that her uncle’s name was Lieutenant Commander Moazzem Hossen, that he was a Nevi officer, and that he had been accused in the Agortola Conspiracy case and killed in the morning of 26 March 1971. Continue reading

19 September 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Hartal Coverage of Abdul Alim, Defense Closing Arguments; Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, PW-25 Examination

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

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

It was the second day of a 48-hour countrywide shut down called by Jamaat-e-Islam. Due to the Hartal, our monitors could not safely travel to the Court to attend proceedings.  The following coverage was compiled from official court records and communication with the parties to the proceedings.

On this day, Mr. Ahsanul Haq Hena, the defense counsel for the accused Abdul Alim concluded his closing submissions before Tribunal 2 of the ICT. This was the fifth day of the Defense submission.  Counsel addressed evidentiary aspects of the remaining charges faced by the Accused. He also made submissions pertaining to the defense claim of alibi. Counsel concluded by declaring that none of the charges had been proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the Prosecution.

Following the conclusion of Defense submissions, the Court announced that Dr. Tureen Afroz would be given limited time on Sunday, 22 September 2013 to briefly address or rebut Defense submissions. The trial can therefore be expected to conclude on Sunday, 22 September 2013, pending final Judgment.

In the case against Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddinm, the Tribunal finished recording the cross-examination of PW-25, Mr. Ataur Rahman, one of the two investigation officers assigned to the case against Mueen and Ashraf. PW-25 was specifically assigned to investigate the involvement of Chowdhury Mueen Uddin. This marked the end of witness testimony, as the IO was the 25th and last prosecution witness of the case. The prosecution is scheduled to begin closing arguments on 23 September 2013.

19 September 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Hartal Coverage of Abdus Sobhan, Cognizance of Charges

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdus Sobhan

This was the second day of a 48-hour countrywide shut down called by Jamaat-e-Islam. Due to the Hartal, our monitors could not safely travel to the Court to attend proceedings.  The following coverage is compiled from official court records and communication with the parties to the proceedings.

In the case of Abdus Sobhan, the Tribunal took cognizance of charges, and set 20 October for hearing on charge framing.