10 November 2013: ICT-2 – Hartal Coverage of Syed Mohammad Qaisar, Charges Pressed by the Prosecution

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Syed Mohammad Qaisar

The BNP-led-18-party opposition alliance enforced a continuous 84-hour countrywide hartal from 10 November 2013 until 13  November 2013.  This marked the opposition’s longest continuous hartal after the Eid vacation, significantly slowing down the proceedings of the Tribunal. Due to the Hartal, our researcher could not safely travel to the Tribunal to be present in Court.  The following coverage was compiled from direct communication with Court officials, parties to the proceedings, and news coverage of the day’s events.

Despite the hartal, the Prosecution pressed a total of 18 charges against Syed Mohammad Qaisar who was under investigation for his wartime role and alleged involvement with the Rajakar forces and Peace Committee in the Habiganj area of greater Sylhet. The formal charges against Qaisar were submitted to the Registrar Office of the Tribunal by Prosecutor Tureen Afroz and Prosecutor Ziad Al Malum.

The 18 charges pressed against the accused include 11 incidents concerning his involvement in the killing of approximately 155 people, 2 incidents concerning rape, and 5 incidents involving abduction, looting, arson and miscellaneous other crimes. All of these incidents allegedly occured between April and November in 1971. Our researchers have thus far been unable to obtain a copy of the formal charges submitted.

Previously, on 5 August 2013, Qaisar was granted conditional bail by ICT-2, due to his health condition.