15 December 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – ATM Azharul Islam, Hearing on Petition for Review of the Charge Framing Order; Mobarak Hossain, DW-1

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. ATM Azharul Islam  
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Mobarak Hossain

ATM Azharul Islam

In the case against ATM Azharul Islam, today was set for hearing an application filed by the Defense for review of the charge framing order. Junior Defense Counsel sought adjournment for one additional day, saying that senior Defense Counsel Abdur Razzak could not appear due to “personal difficulties.” The Prosecution opposed the request. The Court asked the junior Defense Counsel whether he could assure the Tribunal that his senior would definitely appear the next day, if granted another adjournment.  The junior Defense Counsel replied that he could not ensure the appearance of his Senior. The Tribunal therefore denied the request for adjournment, and rejected the petition for review of the Charge Framing Order, stating that the review petition had no substance.  The Tribunal noted that it had already deferred the hearing four times.  In denying the original motion, the Order of the Court concluded the charges had been properly framed on the basis of documents filed by the Prosecution.

Mobarak Hossain

In the case against Mobarak Hossain, today was set for recording the testimony of Defense Witness 1, the Accused. Senior Defense Counsel was absent, so junior Defense Counsel conducted the examination-in-chief. The Tribunal recorded the testimony of the Accused as DW-1. Thereafter, the Prosecution cross-examined Mobarak Hossain. The Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until 24 December 2013.       

Examination-In-Chief of DW-1

Mobarak Hossain, Defense Witness 1, testified that in February 1967, his uncle admitted him to the East Pakistan Railway High School at Akhaura. He testified that after one year, his uncle bought a plot at Noyadil and he started living with him there. He testified that before 1962 there were no Muslims at Noyadil; but after that year, all Hindus of Noyadil went to India, and Muslims came from India to reside there. He added that Muslims from other areas also went to reside there, and most of the time, fights occurred between those who came from India and those who came from other areas. Sometimes his uncle became involved in these fights. He stated that in 1971 on 4th Boishakh (a month in Bangla year), the Pakistan Army attacked Noyadil and burned 50 to 60 houses—including his uncle’s. Mobarak then left Noyadil for Sayedabad. He testified that he and his mother went to his aunt’s house in Khalkut and resided there for eight to nine months. After the Liberation War, he returned to his village, Sayedabad. Mobarak testified that in the beginning of 1972, he went to Noyadil again to visit his uncle and following his uncle’s advice, they bought a plot and began residing in Noyadil with his brothers. He testified that due to the previous enmity, Abdul Hamid and Darul Islam (Prosecution witness 1) with the help of Khodeza Begum filed this case accusing him and Jamshed (when Jamshed’s date of birth is 1972). Mobarak stated that his date of birth is 01-07-1956 and in 1971 he was a minor. He added that the allegations brought against him are false and baseless, and the witnesses who gave testimony accusing him gave false testimony and were financially incentivized by the Prosecution. Mobarak testified that until now, he had held the position of Akhoura Union Secretary of Awami League and was not involved in any crimes. He further testified that he did not oppose the Liberation War, the Razakar commanders, or members of Razakar force.

Cross-Examination of DW-1

The Prosecution claimed that on 20-08-1997 and 29-05-2007, two newspapers published stories describing Mobarak as a war criminal, and the Accused did not raised objections against such reports because the news contained the truth. Mobarak replied that this was not true. The Prosecution claimed that in the voter list, his date of birth is written as 19-01-1950 and that the witness is hiding his actual age. The witness replied that this was not true.