Category Archives: East West Center

11 December 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Zahid Hossain Khokon, PW-14 and PW-15; Mobarak Hossain, DW-1

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Zahid Hossain Khokon
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Mobarak Hossain

Due to blockades and political unrest over the anticipated execution of Abdul Qader Molla, our monitors could not safely travel to the Court to attend proceedings today.  The following coverage was compiled from direct communication with the parties to the proceedings, as even local media coverage of the proceedings was scant for this day.

In the case against Zahid Hossain Khokon, the Tribunal recorded the testimony of Prosecution Witness 14 and Prosecution Witness 15. The state-appointed Defense Counsel cross-examined both witnesses. Thereafter, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow, 12 December 2013.

In the case of Mobarak Hossain, today was set for recording the testimony of the Defense Witness 1. However, the senior Defense Counsel for Mobarak Hossain was absent, and the junior Defense Counsel sought adjournment on behalf of his senior. The Tribunal granted the motion, and adjourned the proceedings in the case until 15 December 2013.

10 December 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Hartal Coverage of Abdul Quader Molla, Supreme Court Sentence Received and Warrant of Execution Issued; AKM Yusuf, Examination of PW-17

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Quader Molla
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. AKM Yusuf

Due to ongoing unrest and blockades, our researcher was unable to be physically present in court this day.  Accordingly, our coverage was compiled from direct communication with the Tribunal and the Parties to the proceedings.

Today the ICT received the case record of Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Quader Molla from the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, along with the Appellate Division’s full Judgment and Order, dated 17 November 2013, in the appeal against conviction (Criminal Appeal Nos. 24-25 of 2013) from Abdul Quader Molla. In its Judgment, the Supreme Court, which is the highest court of appeal, converted the sentence from imprisonment for life, conferred by ICT-2, to “sentence of death.”

The Tribunal also recorded testimony today from PW-17 in the case against AKM Yusuf.

Judgment of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh

Following the Judgment and sentencing passed on 5 February 2012 by ICT-2 against Abdul Quader Molla, the State filed Criminal Appeal No. 24 of 2013 seeking enhancement of the sentence from life imprisonment, and appealing against an order of acquittal that had been issued in respect of Charge 4. The Defense filed Criminal Appeal No. 25 of 2013 appealing against conviction of Quader Molla.

The Appellate Division unanimously found in favor of the State’s Appeal, and elected by a 4 to 1 majority to change the sentence from imprisonment for life to death. The Appellate Court further set aside the order of acquittal on Charge 4, instead finding the Accused guilty of the charge, and sentencing him to life imprisonment on that count.

The Appellate Division unanimously dismissed the Defense appeal against conviction on Charge 6, and held by a 4 to 1 majority that the conviction and sentence passed in respect of Charges 1, 2, 3 and 5 should be maintained.

A full copy of the judgment of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court can be accessed here: Abdul Quader Molla-SC Appellate Division Judgment

Warrant of Execution of Passed

Upon receiving the Appellate Division’s full judgment, ICT-2 instructed the Registrar of the Tribunal to immediately issue a Warrant of Execution on the death sentence. It ordered the Registrar to ensure quick transmission of the Warrant of Execution to the prison authority, directing the Registrar to return the warrant to the Tribunal with an endorsement certifying that the sentence has been executed. The Court also ordered that the Judgment and Order of the Appellate Division be transmitted to the Dhaka District Magistrate and the Secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs for information and necessary compliance with the law.

A copy of the “Warrant of Execution”, issued by ICT-2 can be accessed here: Death warrant of Abdul Quader Molla

Switching cases, ICT-2 moved on to recording the examination-in-chief of PW-17 in the case against AKM Yusuf, after the cross-examination of PW-16 was closed because senior defense counsel was absent, once again. Continue reading

10 December 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Hartal Coverage of Zahid Hossain Khokon, PW-12 and PW-13

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Zahid Hossain Khokon

Due to blockades and political unrest over the anticipated execution of Abdul Qader Molla, our monitors could not safely travel to the Court to attend proceedings today.  The following coverage was compiled from direct communication with the parties to the proceedings, as even local media coverage of the proceedings was scant for this day.

In the case of Zahid Hossain Khokon, the Tribunal recorded the testimony of Prosecution Witness 12 and Prosecution Witness 13. The state-appointed Defense Counsel cross-examined both witnesses. Thereafter, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow, 11 December 2013.

9 December 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Mobarak Hossain, Defense Case-in-Chief; Zahid Hossain Khokon, PW-10 and PW-11

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Mobarak
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Zahid Hossain Khokon

Mobarak Hossain

In the case against Mobarak Hossain, today was set for recording the testimony of the Defense Witness 1. However, the senior Defense Counsel for Mobarak Hossain was absent, and the junior Defense Counsel sought two days adjournment on behalf of Senior Counsel. The Tribunal allowed the motion, and adjourned the proceedings of the case until 11 December 2013.

Zahid Hossain Khokon

In the case against Zahid Hossain Khokon, the Tribunal recorded the testimony of Sree Rabindra Nath Datta, Prosecution Witness 10, and Sree Jogonnath Datta, Prosecution Witness 11.  State-appointed Defense Counsel cross-examined the witnesses. Both testified in support of Charge 4. Following conclusion of their testimony, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow, 10 December 2013.  Continue reading

9 December 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Hartal Coverage of AKM Yusuf, PW-15 and PW-16

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. AKM Yusuf

Due to ongoing unrest and blockades, our researcher was unable to be physically present in court this day.  Accordingly, our coverage was compiled from direct communication with the Tribunal and the Parties to the proceedings.

Despite the ongoing countrywide blockade, ICT-2 was scheduled to record the cross-examination of PW-15 in the case against AKM Yusuf. As has happened in previous days, junior defense counsel, Mr. Gazi M H Tamim informed the tribunal that the senior counsel, Mr. Syed Mizanur Rahman would not be able to appear in the court because of the blockade. The Tribunal closed the cross-examination of PW-15 after the junior defense counsel confirmed that he could not conduct the cross-examination in the absence of his learned senior counsel.

The Court then recorded the examination-in-chief of PW-16. The cross-examination of this witness has been scheduled to be recorded on 10 December 2013, although junior Defense Counsel did pose one question to the witness today. Continue reading

8 December 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Contempt Proceedings against The Economist magazine and Human Rights Watch; Mobarak Hossain, Defense Case-in-Chief; ATM Azharul Islam, Pre-Trial hearing on charge framing order

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Mobarak Hossain
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Human Rights Watch
  3. Chief Prosecutor vs. Adam Roberts and Others (The Economist)
  4. Chief Prosecutor vs. ATM Azharul Islam  

Contempt Proceedings Against Human Rights Watch

On 2 September 2013, the Tribunal issued a notice to Human Rights Watch Board of Directors, Executive Directors of Asia Division, Brad Adams, and Associate of Asian Division, Storm Tiv, asking them to submit an explanation within three weeks as to why contempt proceedings should not be brought against them for the publication of an article about the Gholam Azam case, entitled ‘Bangladesh: Azam Conviction Based on Flawed Proceedings: Analysis Outlines how Fair Trial, Rights of Accused Seriously Compromised.’

Today, 8 December 2013, had been set for submissions of the reply. However, Md Asaduzzaman appeared on behalf of Human Rights Watch and informed the Tribunal that, although they had already submitted the vokalotnama (power of Attorney) he did not receive the relevant documents from the Prosecution until today.  Accordingly, Counsel sought adjournment for 8 weeks. The Tribunal granted the request in pat, but set the date to reconvene the proceedings on 7 January 2014.

Contempt Proceedings Against The Economist

In the contempt proceedings against Economist, today was set for passing order on show cause notice. However, the Tribunal elected to delay until 29 December 2013.

Mobarak Hossain

In the case of Mobarak Hossain, today was set for recording the testimony of the Defense Witness 1. However the senior Defense Counsel for Mobarak Hossain was absent, and junior Defense Counsel sought adjournment for one day. The Tribunal  granted the request, and adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow, 9 December 2013.

ATM Azharul Islam

In the case of ATM Azharul Islam, today was set to hear a petition filed by Defense to review the charge framing order, as well as a petition filed by the Prosecution to allow three Prosecution witnesses to testify in camera. However, the senior Defense Counsel Abdur Razzak, who was supposed to make submission on behalf of the Defense, was again not present at the Tribunal.  Once again, junior Defense Counsel sought adjournment for two days, citing “personal difficulties.”  The Judges of ICT-1 granted the petition for adjournment, but noted that they had allowed adjournments three times already.  They warned Defense Counsel that this would be the last time they would allow the adjournment for hearing on these petitions.

The Tribunal set 10 December 2013 for hearing on these petitions.

8 December 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Hartal Coverage of AKM Yusuf, PW-15

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. AKM Yusuf

Due to ongoing unrest and blockades, our researcher was unable to be physically present in court this day.  Accordingly, our coverage was compiled from direct communication with the Tribunal and the Parties to the proceedings.

ICT-2 recorded the examination-in-chief of PW-15 in the case against AKM Yusuf. Junior Defense Counsel posed some questions to the witness, but cross-examination is scheduled to begin tomorrow, 9 December 2013. Continue reading