Category Archives: Trial of Gholam Azam

3 – 4 March 2013: ICT 1 and 2 Daily Summary – Brief Summaries Due to Hartal

A three day hartal has been called in Bangladesh. For safety reasons our researchers are unable to attend proceedings on hartal days. We have compiled the following brief summary from media coverage and communication with the Defense and Prosecution.


3 March 2013
Investigation of Mir Quasem Ali

On March 3, 2013 Prosecutor Sultan Mahmud Simon submitted the progress report of the Investigation of Mir Quasem Ali and sought two months time to submit the formal charge. The Tribunal fixed April 24 for the submission of the formal charge.

Quasem Ali was brought to the ICT but was not produced before the Tribunal during the hearing.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam
The Defense sought adjournment on behalf of Gholam Azam. Prosecutor Zead-al-Malum opposed the petition. The Tribunal rejected the Defense petition and asked the Prosecution to continue their Closing Arguments. Thereafter the Prosecution submitted their the Closing Arguments for the 9th day.

4 March 2013:
Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Quader Chowdhury
March 4 was fixed for recording the testimony of Prosecution witness 21; however, Prosecutor Zead-al-Malum submitted that the Prosecution could not produce the witness today. Thereafter the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the Salauddin Quader Chowdhury’s case until 12 March 2013.

Salauddin Quader Chowdhury was brought to the ICT but was not produced before the Tribunal.

 Contempt Proceedings against the Economist
On December 6, 2012 Tribunal 1 issued a notice asking them the Economist to show cause why contempt charges should not be brought against South Asian bureau chief Adam Roberts and the chief editor of the London based weekly. The Tribunal accused them of interfering with the ongoing trial and violating the privacy of a judge in conjunction with the alleged Skype controversy. The Economist was initially asked to reply within three weeks. On 3 February 2013 the Tribunal fixed 4 March 2013 for the submission of the Economist’s reply. On 4 March 2013 Barrister Mustafizur Rahman submitted that he has not yet received the written reply from his clients and sought two weeks additional time to submit the reply. The Tribunal accepted his prayer and fixed 25 March 2013 for the next hearing.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam
The Prosecution placed their arguments on legal points in the Gholam Azam case and completed their Closing Arguments. Thereafter, the Tribunal asked the Defense to begin their closing arguments, but no senior defence counsel was present at the Tribunal. A junior Defense counsel sought one week adjournment for preparation, however, the Tribunal fixed 7 March 2013 for Defence closing arguments.

[We are compiling a summary of events in Tribunal for this week and will post information once it is complete]

Weekly Digest, Issue 5: February 17-21

This week Tribunal 1 heard matters in the Gholam Azam, Nizami, and Chowdhury cases. In the Gholam Azam case the Tribunal heard arguments regarding a number of Defense applications, including requests to depose further witnesses and another request for bail. They began hearing the Prosecution’s Closing Arguments, as scheduled on 17 February. In Chowdhury, the Tribunal heard the cross-examination of Prosecution Witness 10, part of which was conducted by Chowdhury himself. In the Nizami case, the Tribunal heard an application from the Prosecution requesting permission to submit additional documents and the Defense cross-examined Prosecution witness 2, Zahir Uddin Jalal.

Tribunal 2 covered the Kamaruzzaman and Mujahid cases. The Tribunal also rejected an application for review of its final judgment in the Qader Molla case. In Kamaruzzaman, the Tribunal granted a request from the Prosecution to limit the Defense to four witnesses in support of their case. They also heard the ongoing cross-examination of the Investigating Officer, Prosecution witness 18. In the Mujahid case, the Tribunal heard the examination of Prosecution witness 13, Shakti Shaha. The Tribunal also dealt with contempt proceedings against Ahmed Ziauddin (linked to the Skype controversy) and leaders of the Dhaka City Unit of Jamaat-e-Islami.

Read the full report here: Weekly Digest, Issue 5 – Feb 17-21

27 Feb 2013: Gholam Azam Closing Arguments, Sayedee Verdict for the 28th

This is a brief summary of today’s proceedings. A more detailed post will follow.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Delwar Hossain Sayedee

The Tribunal heard the Prosecution’s Closing Arguments for the  8th consecutive day. The Prosecution submitted his arguments in support of Charge 5, torture and murder of Sub Inspector of Police Siru Miah as a Crime against Humanity.  This concluded the Prosecution’s arguments based onthe  charges. Thereafter Prosecutor Zead-al-Malum sought adjournment and Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of Ghulam Azam until March 3, 2013.

Today the Sayedee case appearedas Item 2 on the cause list. After hearing the Closing Arguments in the Gholam Azam case the Chairman of Tribunal 1, ATM Fazle Kabir, stated that on January 29, 2013 the Tribunal had completed hearing Closing arguments in the Sayedee case and the case had been under consideration awaiting verdict since then. He announced that the Final Judgment has been prepared and Tribunal will deliver its verdict tomorrow, February 28, 2013.

This will be the third  judgment issued by the International Crimes Tribunal, the first to be issued by Tribunal 1. It follows the verdicts in the Kalam Azad and Qader Molla cases.

It should be noted that after the announcement of the impending verdict, Jamaat-e-Islami has called a hartal (strike) for tomorrow in protest of what they expect to be an unfair verdict against Sayedee, a party leader. In light of the energy behind the ongoing Shabagh movement (which was sparked by the sentence given in the Qader Molla case and is unified around calling for the death penalty against alleged war criminals) and opposition to the trials by Jamaat-e-Islami, there is potential for significant demonstrations and violence tomorrow.

26 Feb 2013: ICT 1 Daily Summary – Gholam Azam Prosecution Closing Arguments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam: Disposition on Defense Applications, Prosecution Closing Arguments

Defense Applications
On 17 February 2013 Tajul Islam, Defense Counsel of Gholam Azam filed three applications. One application was for permission to either call General Sir Jack Deverell and Professor William Schabas as expert witnesses, depose these witnesses via video link, or to submit their expert reports into evidence pursuant to Rule 46A of the International Rules of Procedure 2010. Defense also filed another application for bail. On 20 February 2013 Tribunal heard these two applications along with another application filed by the Defense requesting permission inspect the record of orders. Today (26 February 2013) passed order regarding these three applications.

Regarding the application for two foreign witnesses Tribunal passed an order rejecting the application and stated that Tribunal already expressed its views at the time of recording of evidence. Tribunal further stated that the recording of evidence has already been completed and the case is now at the stage of Closing Arguments. The court did allow the Defense to submit the expert witness reports though it was unclear whether they would be accepted as exhibits or simply for reference by the Judges.

The Tribunal rejected the bail application, which was filed on medical grounds, stating that Gholam Azam has received adequate medical attention and that the nature of the charges against him and the stage of the trial do not allow for him to be set free on bail. The Tribunal further directed the authorities at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University to take all necessary steps to provide him proper treatment.

Regarding the inspection of record of orders Tribunal stated that a Defense Counsel will be allowed to inspect the record for an hour in front of two bench officers.

Closing Arguments
Thereafter, Tribunal heard the closing arguments of Prosecution side for 7th consecutive day. Prosecutor Sultan Mahmud Simon submitted arguments in support of Charge No 4 (complicity) incidents 13 through 23 counts. The Tribunal then adjourned the proceedings until February 27, 2013.  Continue reading

25 Feb 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Gholam Azam Closing Arguments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam: Prosecution Closing Arguments (Accused Not Present)
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Mubarak Hossain (Accused Not Present)

In the Gholam Azam case the Tribunal heard the Prosecution’s closing arguments for the 6th consecutive day. Prosecutor Sultan Mahmud Simon submitted arguments in support of Charge 3 (incitement) from counts 26 to 28 and Charge 4 (complicity) for counts 1 through 13. Thereafter, Tribunal adjourned the proceedings until February 26, 2013.

The Prosecution submitted the Formal Charges against Mubarak Hossain but the matter was not argued or presented in open court. Continue reading