Category Archives: Trial of Ashrafuzzaman Khan

3 November 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan found Guilty on 11 Charges – Sentenced to Death

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.

30 September 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, Prosecution Closing Comments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:

1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin

State-appointed counsel for Asharafuzzaman, Mr. Abdus Shukur Khan, followed up on the prvious day’s closing submittions, seeking acquittal for his client, Ashrafuzzaman. In the absence of client instruction, the ambit of discussion and closing submission was limited and brief.

Tribunal 2 allowed Prosecutor Shahidur to make some closing comments in reply to the closing argments made today and yesterday by State-appointed defense counsels for the Accused. The Tribunal then declared that the case was to be put as CAV (Curia advisari vult), a latin legal term meaning that the court wished to take the evidence under consideration for a final Judgment.

These are the second and third individuals to be tried in absentia at the ICT. Prior to this case, Abul Kalam Azad alias Bacchu was the first to be tried by the tribunal without being present in court to face the charges against him.

29 September 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, Defense Closing Statements

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:

1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin

State-appointed defense counsel for Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, Ms. Salma Hye Tuni initiated her closing submissions in the case against Mueen and Ashraf.

Counsel noted that since her client is being tried in absentia, it was not possible for her to obtain any instruction from her client. Accordingly, she could not secure any defense witnesses to testify on her client’s behalf. However, she did rely upon portions of an exclusive interview her client gave to Al-Jazeera given earlier this year, in July.

Counsel did not seek to deny that the fact of the matter that Bengali intellectuals had been rounded up and killed in a brutal fashion in December of 1971. However, although evidence had shown that these killings were administered by Al-Badr forces, Counsel denied the involvement of Mueen with Al-Badr, and submitted that the Accused could not be held responsible for the events in question.  Continue reading

25 September 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, Prosecution Closing Statements

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:

1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin

Prosecutor Haider Ali concluded the Prosecution closing arguments in the case against Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan. In his concluding remarks, he sought the highest punishment of death sentence for both the Accused.

Prosecutor Haider Ali submitted that the series of events regarding the targeted abduction and killing of Bangalee intellectuals on the eve of Bangladesh’s victory in the nine months war against Pakistan is not disputed. However, in order to link these events to the Accused on trial, Counsel devoted some portion of his time today to highlighting discernible patterns and similarities between the abductions alleged in Charges 1 thru 11. The Prosecution argued that exhibited documentary evidence, including books and contemporaneous newspapers, corroborated by witness testimony, indicated that this targeted killing had been administered and executed systematically by Al-Badr paramilitary forces. Counsel further submitted that the Prosecution has successfully shown that Al-Badr death squad included Chowdhury Mueen Uddin as the Operation-in-Charge and Ashrafuzzaman Khan as Chief Executor. The Prosecutor argued that it was not necessary to prove that the Accused had given the specific instructions or orders for the targeted killing, because this could be deduced from circumstantial evidence. Continue reading

24 September 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, Prosecution Closing Statements

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin

Prosecutor Shahidur Rahman Prosecutor continued closing submissions in the case against Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan. The two Accused are being tried jointly in absentia.  They are being represented by State-appointed defense counsels. The Accused Mueen is believed to be in London, while Ashrafuzzaman lives in New York. Counsel reviewed the testimony of each of the witnesses whose testimony the Prosecution wished to rely upon in support of the charges against the Accused. Continue reading

23 September 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, Prosecution Closing Statements

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin

Prosecutor Shahidur Rahman began his closing submissions by reviewing background and procedural details of the case against Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan. The two accused are being tried jointly in absentia.  They are being represented by State-appointed defense counsels. The Accused Mueen is believed to be in London, while Ashrafuzzaman lives in New York.

Prosecution Shahidur Rahman began his submission with the historical background of the cases, prompting the Bench to asked the Prosecution not to re-iterate the general historical backgrounds of Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971, of which the court was already aware and had already given its findings in Judgments previously delivered. The Court urged counsel to briefly enumerate only the extraordinary facts particularly relevant for this case.  Continue reading

19 September 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Hartal Coverage of Abdul Alim, Defense Closing Arguments; Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, PW-25 Examination

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin

It was the second day of a 48-hour countrywide shut down called by Jamaat-e-Islam. Due to the Hartal, our monitors could not safely travel to the Court to attend proceedings.  The following coverage was compiled from official court records and communication with the parties to the proceedings.

On this day, Mr. Ahsanul Haq Hena, the defense counsel for the accused Abdul Alim concluded his closing submissions before Tribunal 2 of the ICT. This was the fifth day of the Defense submission.  Counsel addressed evidentiary aspects of the remaining charges faced by the Accused. He also made submissions pertaining to the defense claim of alibi. Counsel concluded by declaring that none of the charges had been proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the Prosecution.

Following the conclusion of Defense submissions, the Court announced that Dr. Tureen Afroz would be given limited time on Sunday, 22 September 2013 to briefly address or rebut Defense submissions. The trial can therefore be expected to conclude on Sunday, 22 September 2013, pending final Judgment.

In the case against Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddinm, the Tribunal finished recording the cross-examination of PW-25, Mr. Ataur Rahman, one of the two investigation officers assigned to the case against Mueen and Ashraf. PW-25 was specifically assigned to investigate the involvement of Chowdhury Mueen Uddin. This marked the end of witness testimony, as the IO was the 25th and last prosecution witness of the case. The prosecution is scheduled to begin closing arguments on 23 September 2013.