12 December 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Zahid Hossain Khokon, PW-16; Fakhrul Islam, Contempt Proceedings

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Zahid Hossain Khokon
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Fakhrul Islam   

Zahid Hossain Khokon

In the case against Zahid Hossain Khokon, the Tribunal recorded the testimony of Kolom Sheikh, Prosecution Witness 16. State-appointed Defense Counsel then cross-examined the witness. The witness testified in support of Charge 6. Thereafter, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of this case until 23 December 2013.

Fakhrul Islam

In the contempt proceedings against Fakhrul Islam, Defense Counsel for Salauddin Qader Chowdhury, today was set for a hearing. However, Fakhrul Islam was absent from the Tribunal because he had been arrested on 20 November 2013 for alleged involvement in the leaking of a draft verdict passed against Salauddin Qader Chowdhury.  This charge has been brought against him under the Information and Communication Technology Act of 2006. Today, 12 December 2013, junior of Fakhrul Islam appeared on his behalf. The Tribunal set 12 January 2014 for the next hearing on contempt matters.

Examination-In-Chief of PW-16

Kolom Sheikh, Prosecution Witness 16, testified that in 1971 he was 18 or 19 years old. He testified that during the Liberation War, a fight took place between the Razakars, the Pakistani Army and the freedom fighters at Chaderhat. He stated that on 30 May 1971 at 1:30 pm, Razakar Khokon, Aynal and the Pakistani Army came to their village, forcing him to hide in the north side of the village. He added that when his mother Boru Khatun, brother Salam, and sister Minoti were running to hide themselves in the nearby jute field, Razakar Khokon and other Razakars shot and killed them. Kolom allegedly witnessed the incident while he was hiding in a bush. He then testified that after the incident villagers including Salam, Kashem also came to the site and buried the corpses beside their house. One of his sisters Fulmoti got shot and he took her to Doctor Badol for treatment. He stated that he saw Khokon shooting his mother. He acknowledged giving an interview to the Investigation Officer and testified that Khokon is not present at the dock.

Cross-Examination of PW-16

The state-appointed Defense Counsel asked the witness how long the Razakars were at their village on 30 May 1971, to which the witness replied two to two and a half hours. The Defense claimed that the witness’s mother and brother were killed at Uttormath, and not in the jute field as the witness claimed. The witness replied that the statement was false. The Defense claimed that Aynal was killed during the Liberation War, and the witness stated that he could not remember. The Defense claimed that Khokon was an Ansar Commandar before the Liberation War, and the witness replied that it was not true. The Defense then added that Zafor was killed by the freedom fighters at Chaderhat in a fight between the Razakars, the Pakistani Army and the freedom fighters, and the witness replied in the positive. The Defense then claimed that this provoked the Pakistani Army to kill his mother, brother and sister and that at the time of the killing, Khokon was not present at the site. The witness refuted this. Then, the Defense claimed that the witness, during his initial interview to the Investigating Officer, did not say he personally witnessed Khokon shooting his mother, and the witness stated that this was not true as well. The Defense proposed that due to the influence of others, this witness gave false testimony accusing Khokon, and the witness again denied the Defense Counsel’s claim.