12 November 2013: ICT-2 – Hartal Coverage of AKM Yusuf

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case: 

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. AKM Yusuf

This was the third day of the 84-hours countrywide Hartal enforced by the BNP-led-18-party opposition alliance. The following coverage was compiled from direct communication with Court officials, parties to the proceedings, and news coverage of the day’s events.

The case of AKM Yusuf appeared in the daily cause list for ICT-2, and the Court was scheduled to record the testimony of PW-4. However, the Defense Counsel for the Accused was unable to appear in the court due to the hartal. Accordingly, the Court adjourned for the day without any progress. Nonetheless, the judges of ICT-2 very strongly informed junior defense counsel present that the court could not sit idle for the ongoing hartals and blockades led by the opposition. The judges condemned the repeated absence of the senior defense counsels on hartal days while the members of the Prosecution team remained present in the Court. The Bench warned the Defense that this delay tactic would not be tolerated anymore and that the Tribunal would proceed in the absence of the Defense counsel if they choose to remain absent on hartal days.

The Tribunal then fixed 13 November 2013 as the date for recording PW-4’s testimony in the AKM Yusuf case.