Today, Tribunal 2 issued its sixth verdict, concluding the case of Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan alias Naeb Ali Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin. The two have been tried jointly for the same offences, and the Tribunal found both of them guilty on all eleven charges. Mueen and Ashraf have both remained outside of Bangladesh, and have been tried in absentia.
The Charges and the Verdict:
- Charge 1: Abetting and complicity to the commission of the offence of abduction as Crime Against Humanity, or in the alternative extermination as Crime Against Humanity, or in the alternative murder as Crimes Against Humanity committed against journalist Seraj Uddin Hossain, an unarmed civilian belonging to the intellectual group. Charged under Section 3(2)(a) (g) (h) and for liability under Section 4(1) and 4(2) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973.
On 9 October 2013, Tribunal 2 issued its fifth verdict, concluding the case of Chief Prosecutor vs. Md. Abdul Alim alias M.A. Alim. The Tribunal found Alim guilty on nine of seventeen charges: specifically Charges 1, 2, 6, 7 8, 9, 10, 12, 14. He was acquitted of Charges 3, 4, 5, 11, 13, 15, 16 and 17.
The Charges and the Verdict:
- Charge 1: Participating and substantially abetting and contributing the actual commission of the offence of deportation as Crime Against Humanity, committed against a member of the civilian population named Meher Uddin Chowdhury belonging to Awami League of Dom Doma village in Panchbibi. Charged under Section 3(2)(a) (g) and Section 4(1) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973.
We are pleased to present our fourth Special report on the third verdict issued by Tribunal 2.
Special Issue # 4: Legal Conclusions from Chief Prosecutor vs. Kamaruzzaman
This special report provides a detailed summary of the legal conclusions made by the International Crimes Tribunal in its fourth verdict, the Judgment of Chief Prosecutor vs. Kamaruzzaman. The verdict was issued on 9 May 2013. All seven Charges leveled against Kamaruzzaman alleged direct involvement in Crimes Against Humanity, or in the alternative, complicity in Crimes Against Humanity. The Tribunal found Kamaruzzaman guilty of complicity in Crimes Against Humanity for Charges 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7. He was acquitted of Charges 5 and 6. This special report focuses on the legal conclusions within the Judgment, particularly on the Tribunal’s decisions concerning evidentiary standards, the definition and elements of complicity in Crimes Against Humanity, and the doctrine of Command Responsibility. For more information on the procedural history of the case and the factual findings of the Tribunal please refer to our initial report on the case, Special Issue #2: Kamaruzzaman Verdict. The legal conclusions expressed in this report are a summary and restatement of those found in the Tribunal’s verdict, for the benefit of those interested in following the work of the ICT. The interpretations of law described herein do not necessarily reflect the institutional views of the Asian International Justice Initiative or its researchers.
Trial in Absentia:
The first verdict issued by the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) was in the case of Kalam Azad, a case that was held in absentia. It is alleged that Kalam Azad fled to Pakistan so as to avoid trial. Trial in absentia is a rare occurrence in international criminal law. While such trials were conducted during the Nuremberg trials, contemporary courts such as the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone have not allowed such trials.
Tribunal 2 addressed the issue of trial in absentia in its Final Judgment in the Kalam Azad case. This is a summary of their conclusions. Continue reading