Category Archives: Trial of Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid

30 May 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Mujahid Defense Closing Arguments

30 May 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid

Today Defense counsel Abdur Razzak began his portion of the Closing Arguments in the case of Mujahid. Although he had previously been designated to cover only the legal aspects of the case, he also discussed evidentiary and factual issues as well, particularly issues pertaining to documentary evidence.

The Defense also informed the Tribunal that because the senior Defense team is also appearing before the Appellate Division in conjunction with the Qader Molla case appeal, they would need the Tribunal to accommodate the Defense’s schedule (in particular Mr. Razzak’s schedule). He said that he would only be able to present arguments in the Mujahid case in the afternoon. The Tribunal agreed to accommodate the Defense counsel as far as possible.

Closing Arguments
The Defense noted that the book “Al-Badr” is the primary documentary evidence relied upon by the Prosecution to establish that Mujahid held a leadership position in the Al-Badr forces during the 1971 war period.

The counsel stated that the book refers to the speech of the ’Nezam’ (Head/leader) of Al-Badr, given the night before Pakistan surrendered on 16th December 1971. The counsel submitted that this is the worst possible form of hearsay evidence as there is no reference as to who recalled and reported the meeting, who gave the description of the meeting, when and where such an interview was taken and how the contents of the speech of the ‘Nezam’ could be authenticated. The Defense submitted that without knowing this information, the evidence cannot be relied upon in reaching any conclusion regarding Mujahid’s position within the Al-Badr forces or his alleged guilt. Because the book amounts to anonymous hearsay it cannot be relied upon. 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

26 May 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Hartal Coverage

Today the Tribunal was scheduled to hear matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Mujahid
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

Today the Defense counsel in Mujahid’s case was absent, claiming personal difficulty resulting from the nationwide hartal called by BNP-led 18 party alliance. The court adjourned the Defense Closing Arguments until tomorrow.

The case of Abdul Alim was also adjourned because the Prosecution was unable to produce Prosecution witness 21 for the continuation of his cross-examination. The case will resume on  5 June 2013.

16 May 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Mujahid Prosecution Closing Arguments

The Prosecution presented their key legal arguments in the case against Mujahid. Prosecutor Afroz addressed a range of legal issues in conjunction Charges 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7. A written outline of the arguments was provided as reference for the Tribunal. The Defense counsel objected because the cover photograph of the outline showed numerous skulls. The Defense argued that such a picture is unnecessary, inappropriate and prejudicial. The Prosecution disagreed, claiming that there is nothing in the law or rules of procedure prohibiting such photographs. The judges agreed with the Prosecutor’s submission, adding that such a photograph will neither be detrimental nor advantageous to the case against the accused and will have no impact on the judicial process.

Prosecutor’s Arguments:
The Prosecution presented arguments on the following issues:

  1.  Legal argument on the absence of victims’ dead body.
  2. Legal argument on ‘extermination ‘ in contrast to ‘murder’.
  3. The doctrine of superior responsibility and how it has been established by the evidence admitted.
  4. Evaluation of documentary evidences and further evaluation of the charges.

The Actus Reus of Murder and Necessity of Victim’s Body as Evidence (relevant to Charges 1 and 5)
The Prosecution began by emphasizing that the bodies of the victims in Charges 1 and 5 were recovered. She argued that the actus reus, of murder requires that the Prosecution prove that the killing itself occurred. Where the body is not found or recovered the killing remains unproved, resulting in the failure of the Prosecution’s case. In this case, Prosecutor Afroz argued that the Defense cannot claim that the actus reus in Charges 1 and 5 has not been proven by reason of failure to find the body of the victims. Continue reading