Category Archives: Trial of Abul Kalam Azad “Bachu”

ICT’s Legal Conclusions: Trial in Absentia

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

Weekly Digest, Issue No. 1 – January 20-24, 2013

This is the first issue of the Weekly Digest, a summary of proceedings at the International Crimes Tribunal that will be published on a weekly basis. These reports are designed to provide an overview of events in a digestible manner, suitable to those who want to stay abreast of the proceedings but do not have the time to follow the Daily Summaries.

This week the Tribunal issued its first verdict, the judgment in the Case of Chief Prosecutor vs. Abul Kalam Azad, alias Bachu. The Defendant was tried in absentia by Tribunal 2, and found guilty of six counts of crimes against humanity and one count of genocide. He was sentenced to death by hanging. Tribunal 1 primarily heard the Defense’s closing arguments in Chief Prosecutor vs. Delwar Hossain Sayedee. The Tribunal additionally addressed applications for the removal of Prosecutor Zead al-Malum among other matters.

Read the full report:

Weekly Digest, Issue 1 – Jan 20-24

Contents of Weekly Digest Issue No. 1
Cases Covered:
Tribunal 1: Sayedee, Nizami, Golam Azam, Chowdhury
Tribunal 2: Kalam Azad, Mujahid, Kamaruzzaman, Qader Molla, Abdul Alim

Applications and Orders:
Tribunal 1: Application for Removal of Prosecutor Zead al-Malum; Application for Contempt Proceedings against Ahmed Ziauddin; Application for Review of Order Denying Retrial; Application for Extension of Bail;

Tribunal 2: Final Judgment; Contempt Proceedings against MK Anwar and Sranjit Sen Gupta; Witness Testimony

Read the full report here:

Weekly Digest, Issue 1 – Jan 20-24

Abul Kalam Azad Guilty Verdict

Today Tribunal 2 issued the first verdict of the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal. The verdict was issued against Abul Kalam Azad, also known by his alias “Bacchu”, who has been tried in absentia.

The Tribunal found Kalam Azad GUILTY on 7 of 8 Charges. He was found NOT GUILTY of Charge 2. Six of the guilty verdicts were for crimes against humanity and one was for genocide. Referencing the gravity of the crimes of genocide and murder as a crime against humanity, the court sentenced Kalam Azad to death by hanging for Charges 3,4,6 and 7. For Charges 1,5,8 the Tribunal stated that Kalam Azad was deserving of imprisonment. However, because of the death sentence issued the Tribunal did not stipulate any further terms of imprisonment.

The pdf can be obtained by clicking here: Kalam Azad Judgment (Summary) 21.01.13

For further details continue reading… Continue reading

21 Jan 2013: First Verdict Expected for Abul Kalam Azad “Bachu”

The Registrar of the International Crimes Tribunal, Mr AKM Nasiruddin Mahmud officially announced yesterday after ICT-2’s brief morning session that the Tribunal-2 has fixed Monday, 21.01.2013 to pronounce the verdict in the case of Abul Kalam Azad aka Bacchu Rajakar. This shall mark the maiden judgment in cases involving the trial of accused for their alleged crimes against humanity during the period of Bangladesh’s War of Liberation in 1971.

The Tribunal issued an arrest warrant against Abul Kalam Azad on 3 April 2012. On 2 September 2012, the Prosecution submitted formal charges against this former leader of Islami Chhatra Sangha, the then student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, accusing him of 10 counts of Crimes against Humanity. Unlike the other senior members of his party now facing trial, Azad’s trial has been carried out in absentia. Azad absconded when allegations of war crimes were leveled against him. Accordingly, on 7 October 2012 the tribunal appointed Abdus Sukur Khan, an advocate of the Supreme Court to act as the state appointed defense counsel.

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