Category Archives: Contempt Proceedings

18 June 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Jalal contempt proceedings, Alim Cross Examination of PW 25

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Contempt Proceedings vs. Jahir Uddin Jalal
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

In the contempt proceedings against Jahir Uddin Jalal, the Tribunal granted additional time to Jalal’s lawyer to prepare his explanation, and set June 30 as the date for the next hearing. In the Abdul Alim case, defense counsel Hena conducted the cross examination of Prosecution witness 25. The counsel mainly directed his questioning towards the credibility of the witness.  Continue reading

28 May 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Mujahid Closing Arguments, Contempt Proceedings vs. PW 2

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid –  Defense Closing Arguments
  2. Contempt Proceedings Against Jahir Uddin Jalal, Prosecution Witness 2

The Defense in the Mujahid case addressed Charge-7, covering its evidentiary aspects before making overall closing statements regarding the investigation process and the case in general. The Closing Arguments were primarily led by Defense counsel Munshi Ahsan Kabir who had been released from the hospital following an alleged assault on him by Jahir Uddin Jalal, Prosecution witness 2.

After lunch, the Tribunal took up the issue of the alleged assault and heard the Defense’s application for contempt proceedings to be brought against the witness Jalal. After hearing the application the court ordered of contempt proceeding against the witness to begin 5 June 2013. They issued a notice that Jalal must submit his written explanation by that date. Continue reading

27 May 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Contempt, Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Moinuddin Order, Mujahid Closing Arguments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Contempt Proceedings vs. Prosecution Witness 2, Jalal
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan
  3. Chief Prosecutor vs. Chowdhury Moinuddin
  4. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid

The day’s proceedings began with the Defense notifying the court that Prosecution witness 2 in the Mujahid case had allegedly assaulted Defense counsel member Munshi Ahsan Kabir near his chambers in Paltan, Dhaka. On 26 May 2013, Mr. Kabir was on his way to the chamber to attend a meeting of the Defense team. As he was descending from his rikshaw he encountred the witness, Jalal, who verbally assaulted him, calling him ‘son of Rajakar’ and using other insults and curses. The Defense claimed that Jalal then kicked Mr. Kabir in his lower abdomen by the prosecution witness, causing him to collapse on the ground. Jalal fled the scene. Mr. Kabir was then taken to the hospital by local people. The Defense urged the Tribunal to take action against the attacker of the and expressed the hope that all would agree, including the Prosecution. The Tribunal fixed 28 May 2013 for a hearing of the Defense’s contempt petition regarding the attack.

The Tribunal nex passed an order allowing the trials of Md Ashrafuzaman Khan, alias Nayeb Ali, and Moinuddin Chowdhury to be held in absentia under Section 10A of the ICT Act and Rule 32 of the Rules of Procedure of Tribunal-2. The judges observed that the two accused have not appeared before the court despite publication of notices in two widely circulated national dailies. The Tribunal stated that the two are considered to have absconded in an effort to avoid trial and that therefore their trials will commence in their absence. Mr Abdus Shukur Khan and Salma Hye Tuni, both learned advocates of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh have been selected as State-appointed-counsels to defend the accused, and will receive remuneration as approved by the Tribunal.

Finally, the in the case of Mujahid the Defense resumed Closing Arguments, addressing factual and evidentiary issues pertaining to Charges 2 to 6. The Defense noted that Charge 7 would be addressed on the following day and that Defense counsel Abdur Razzak would subsequently discuss relevant legal issues in the case.  Continue reading

22 May 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Mujahid Closing Arguments, Alim PW 21, Pre-trial issues and contempt

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Contempt Proceedings Against Selim Uddin
  2. Syed Md Qaisar: Bail Application
  3. Chief Prosecutor vs. Md Ashruzzaman Khan and  Moinuddin
  4. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid – Defense Closing Arguments
  5. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim – Cross-Examination of PW 21

The Tribunal deferred the contempt proceedings against Selim Uddin until 28 May 2013 for further order. It then moved on to hear the bail application filed on behalf of Syed Md Qaisar who is currently under investigation for war crimes and related offences that may have been committed during the 1971 War of Liberation. Mr Qaisar, a former BNP leader and a subsequent policy maker of President HM Ershad’s cabinet was arrested on a warrant issued by Tribunal-2 on 15 May 2013. Upon hearing the bail application, the court took a brief recess of twenty minutes before finally rejecting the application. Mr Qaisar was then sent to jail.

The Prosecution team in the cases against Md Ashrafuzaman Khan alias Nayeb Ali and Moinuddin notified the Tribunal that they had followed its order and published a notification in two widely circulated national dailies asking the two defendants to appear before the Tribunal. The notice was published on 14 May 2013 in the Daily Janakantha and on 15 May in the Daily Star. The notification announced that failure to appear within 10 days of such publication would result in the court ordering trials-in-absentia, as was done in the case of Abul Kalam Azad. The Tribunal stated that they would hear the case next on  27 May 2013.

In the case of Mujahid the Defense began their Closing Arguments. They began with arguments regarding the evidentiary aspects of the case and stated that senior Defense counsel Abdur Razzak will be later address the relevant legal arguments.

Finally, the Defense counsel for Abdul Alim conducted the cross-examination of Prosecution witness 21. They primarily attacked the credibility of the witness and accused him of providing false testimony. The Defense further suggested that the witness provide the same testimony to the Investigation Officer during his original interview.  Continue reading

21 May 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Abdul Alim PW 21

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim – PW 21
  2. Contempt Proceedings Against Selim Uddin and Others

Today the Tribunal heard the Prosecution’s examination-in-chief of Prosecution witness in the case of Abdul Alim. After the Prosecution completed their questioning the Defense requested adjournment for the day, seeking time to prepare his cross-examination. The Tribunal agreed and scheduled the cross-examination for the following day.

The Tribunal also adjourned the contempt proceedings against Jamaat-e-Islam leaders Selim Uddin, Hamidur Rahman Azad and Rafiqul Islam Khan after hearing a petition for additional time. It may be mentioned that the contempt proceedings were initiated by the Tribunal against the Jamaat-trio in February, following comments regarding the Tribunal made at a public engagement the day before the verdict in Qader Molla was issued. Selim Uddin is the only one of the three who has been produced before the court after being arrested. He has filed a separate written explanation through his lawyer. The other two have not been detained by the police, despite the Tribunal having issued an arrest warrant for them.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim
Mr Abdul Hamid Sakidar provided circumstantial evidence as Prosecution witness 21 in the case against Abdul Alim. During examination-in-chief by the Prosecution the witness testified that he was a resident of Sakidarpara during the war in 1971 and that he was 15 or 16 years old at the time. He testified that Abdul Alim was one of the key persons in the formation of the Peace Committee in the Jaipurhat area and acted as its chairman. Sakidar asserted that the Pakistan army killed many people and also burned villages in his area during the war. He stated that local collaborators were also part of these raids.

The witness claimed stated that Alim, along with Muslim League members and Jamaat activists, occupied the Shaon Lal Bazla Godighar (office) in his area. He stated that the Razakar forces were later trained in this godighar and that the Pakistani Army also located its camp there. The witness incriminated the accused by stating that the Pakistani army and the Razakars used to kill people at the instruction of Alim. Sakidar stated that eleven people from his locality were apprehended by the Pakistani Army and the Razakars, and that they were then taken to the north side of Baroghati Pond near Sakidarpara. These eleven people, whose faces were painted black, were then shot to death at Mr Alim’s instruction. Six of the dead bodies were buried under a mango tree thereby and five others were buried under a lychee tree at the south end of the pond.

The witness claimed stated that about after 4 to 5 months after Bangladesh declared its victory over Pakistan about 150 skeletons were recovered from that very pond.

The witness then positively identified the accused in the courtroom.

19 May 2013: ICT 2 Daily Summary – Contempt Charge Dismissed against Ziauddin

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Contempt Proceedings Against Ahmed Ziauddin

Today Tribunal 2 passed an order in the contempt proceedings against Ahmed Ziauddin, disposing off the matter but making an official observation. The contempt proceedings were initiated suo moto by the Tribunal on 3 January 2013, following the leakage of Skype conversations between the former Chairman of Tribunal 1 and Ziauddin, a Brussels based legal expert and pro-trial activist. News of the Skype controversy was first reported by The Economist. The Tribunal brought charges of contempt against The Economist, which are still pending. The complete conversations were then printed by the local Daily Amar Desh, which has been shut down by the government following the arrest of its chief editor Mr Mahmudur Rahman on charges related to the Skype controversy. The Tribunal took the contents of the conversation into judicial notice during the hearing of a defense application praying for a retrial in the interest of justice. All applications for retrial were rejected. However, in that ruling the Tribunal noted that if the comments allegedly made by Ziauddin were authentic, they cast the International Crimes Tribunal in negative light by making it look like it lacked independence and was a dictated body. The Tribunal was also critical about Ziauddin’s alleged comments regarding Judge Shahinur Islam, a judge of Tribunal-2, and termed the same as completely unacceptable.

Upon the request of the Tribunal Mr Ahmed Ziauddin submitted his written explanation through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs  after about four and a half months. Today the Tribunal disposed off the contempt proceedings and decided that they would not proceed with them any further. The Tribunal stated that the truthfulness of the leaked conversations cannot be determined and also noted that Ziauddin neither admitted nor denied the allegations. Nevertheless, the Tribunal observed that it would be unjust to arrive at a decision in regards the authenticity of the Skype documents based on evidence which in itself has been obtained illegally through hacking. The contempt matter against the Brussels based expert has thus been closed and the judges stated in its judgment that it merited no further steps.

The court then adjourned for the day.

21 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following matters:

  1. Contempt Proceedings vs. Selim Uddin and Others Jamaat Leaders
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid: Cross examination of Investigating Officer, Accused Present

Proceedings before Tribunal 2 began with contempt proceedings against Jamaat leaders Selim Uddin, Hamidur Rahman, Azad MP and Rafiqul Islam.  Selim Uddin was arrested on 8 March 2013 under an arrest warrant issued by the Tribunal on 6 March. Today the Tribunal passed an order against the parties, stating that the submitted written explanation for the allegedly contemptuous behavior was not satisfactory. Therefore proceedings under Section 11(4) of the ICT Act are issued against the accused. Defense counsel Tajul Islam, who had earlier been appointed as counsel to the four Jammat leaders, was not present in the court during the session. The Tribunal scheduled the next hearing on the matter for 9 May 2013, and stated that any further submissions, explanations or observations must be filed before that date.

The Tribunal then resumed hearing the cross-examination of Prosecution witness 17, Investigation Officer Abdur Razzaq . The Defense continued to highlight the various procedural flaws in the investigation process and the underlying deficiencies in the investigation’s findings.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Mujahid
Cross-Examination of Investigation Officer
The Defense resumed its questioning and asked whether the witness went to Chorfasion as part of his investigation. The witness replied that he did not visit the area. He asserted that another Investigation Officer, Nur Hossain, investigated the case against Abul Kalam Azad. He acknowledged that some of the witnesses in that case are also witnesses in the case against Mujahid. The Investigation Officer stated that he interviewed them separately.

The witness stated that he began his investigation in Dhaka on 5 December 2010. He first visited the Daily Jugantor office, which is the office of witness Mahbub Kamal, in the Notre Dame College area. The witness stated that the area is called Arambag. The Defense objected and said it is not called Arambag and suggested that the Investigating Officer does not actually know the location.  The witness said he did not go anywhere else as part of the investigation.  Continue reading