Category Archives: Trial of Md. Kamaruzzaman

27 August 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Alim DW 1, Khan & Mueen Uddin PW 18

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

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

Today in the Alim case Tribunal 2 recorded the testimony of Defense witness 1. Defense counsel Ahsanul Haque Hena conducted the examination-in-chief in the morning session while Prosecutor Rana Das Gupta conducted cross-examination of the defense witness during the second half of the day.

Additionally, the Tribunal recorded the testimony of Prosecution witness 18 in the case against Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, both of whom are being tried in absentia. Both the examination-in-chief and cross-examination were completed. The testimony of Prosecution witness 18 supports Charge 6, regarding the abduction and murder of Dr Abul Khayer and other intellectuals.

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Legal Conclusions from Kamaruzzaman Judgment

We are pleased to present our fourth Special report on the third verdict issued by Tribunal 2.

Special Issue # 4: Legal Conclusions from Chief Prosecutor vs. Kamaruzzaman

This special report provides a detailed summary of the legal conclusions made by the International Crimes Tribunal in its fourth verdict, the Judgment of Chief Prosecutor vs. Kamaruzzaman. The verdict was issued on 9 May 2013. All seven Charges leveled against Kamaruzzaman alleged direct involvement in Crimes Against Humanity, or in the alternative, complicity in Crimes Against Humanity. The Tribunal found Kamaruzzaman guilty of complicity in Crimes Against Humanity for Charges 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7. He was acquitted of Charges 5 and 6.  This special report focuses on the legal conclusions within the Judgment, particularly on the Tribunal’s decisions concerning evidentiary standards, the definition and elements of complicity in Crimes Against Humanity, and the doctrine of Command Responsibility. For more information on the procedural history of the case and the factual findings of the Tribunal please refer to our initial report on the case, Special Issue #2: Kamaruzzaman Verdict. The legal conclusions expressed in this report are a summary and restatement of those found in the Tribunal’s verdict, for the benefit of those interested in following the work of the ICT.  The interpretations of law described herein do not necessarily reflect the institutional views of the Asian International Justice Initiative or its researchers.

Special Report Issue 2: Detailed Summary of Kamaruzzaman Case and Verdict

We are pleased to release our second Special Issue Report on the Verdict in the Kamaruzzaman case. For a full pdf of the report please read here: Special Issue No. 2 – Kamaruzzaman Verdict

This special report provides a detailed summary of the International Crimes Tribunal’s fourth verdict, the Judgment in Chief Prosecutor vs. Md. Kamaruzzaman. The verdict was issued on 9 May 2013 and was the third verdict to be issued by Tribunal 2. We have attempted to distill the major conclusions expressed by the Tribunal into a digestible format. We have reported on the documentary and witness evidence used to support each distinct charge, general arguments made by both parties, and the conclusions reached by the Tribunal. For the sake of length we have focused this report on the factual and charge specific findings within the Judgment. We will be publishing a supplementary report regarding the legal conclusions made in the Judgment that have particular bearing on the ongoing proceedings. This report does not critically analyze the legal merits of the Judgment. It is presented simply in order to facilitate broader access to and understanding of the ICT’s proceedings and conclusions.

Kamaruzzaman was found guilty on 5 of 7 Charges, specifically Charges 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7. He was acquitted of Charges 5 and 6. All of the Charges alleged direct commission of Crimes Against Humanity or, in the alternative, complicity in Crimes Against Humanity. The Prosecution additionally argued that Kamaruzzaman could be found liable under the doctrine of Command Responsibility under Section 4(2). However, he was convicted solely of complicity in Crimes Against Humanity under Section 4(1) of the Act.  On the basis of Charges 3 and 4 he was sentenced to death. The Tribunal noted that charges 1 and 7 merited a life sentence, while Kamaruzzaman was sentenced to ten years imprisonment under charge 2. All lesser sentences were merged into the death sentence.

Please read the entire report here: Special Issue No. 2 – Kamaruzzaman Verdict

Weekly Digest, Issue 12: April 7-11

This week Tribunal 1 continued to hear the Defence’s Closing Arguments in the Gholam Azam case. The Defence concluded their coverage of Charges 3 and 4, and requested one additional day to complete their arguments. The Defence however did not attend proceedings during hartal days. In the Salauddin Qader Chowdhury case the Tribunal heard the testimony of Prosecution witness 25. Additionally, the Prosecution submitted the Formal Charges against Mubarak Hossain and both Parties submitted their arguments regarding the impending of indictment of Hossain.

In Tribunal 2 the Defence for Ali Ahsan Mohadded Mujahid began their cross-examination of Prosecution witness 17, the Investigation Officer. The case of Kamaruzzaman was repeatedly scheduled for the Defence’s Closing Arguments. However, the Senior Defence counsel did not attend on hartal days and therefore the case was adjourned until the following week. In the case against Abdul Alim the Prosecution conducted the examination-in-chief of Prosecution witnesses 14 and 15.

It should be noted that hartals were called for the 8, 9, 10, and 11th of April. Due to security concerns our researchers are unable to attend proceedings on hartal days. Therefore our coverage of those days is compiled from media sources as well as discussion with the Defence and Prosecution.

The full report of this week’s proceedings can be read here: Weekly Digest, Issue 12 – April 7-11

9 May 2013: Kamaruzzaman Guilty Verdict

Tribunal 2 of the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh has found Kamaruzzaman guilty on 5 of 7 charges. He was found guilty on charges 1,2,3,4 and 7, acquitted of charges 5 and 6. He has been sentenced to death based on charges 3 and 4. The Tribunal noted that charges 1 and 7 carried a life sentence, while he was sentenced to ten years imprisonment under charge 2. All the charges were for direct involvement and complicity in Crimes Against Humanity.

The full Judgment may be viewed here: Kamaruzzaman Full Judgment

Profile of Mohammad Kamaruzzaman
The Prosecution alleged that Kamaruzzaman, who in 1971 was 19 years of age, established the paramilitary force of Al-Badr in the district of Mymensingh. The force is thought to have committed genocide, killings, rape, looting, arson and enforced deportation throughout the region in collaboration with the Pakistani Army. Kamaruzzaman was the President of Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student branch of Jamaat-e-Islami, during the war. He was appointed as Joint Secretary of the Dhaka City Jamaat-e-Islami in 1981 and served as Publicity Secretary for the party between 1983 and 1991. He became Assistant Secretary General in 1992.

Procedural History
Investigation into Kamaruzzaman’s involvement in the commission of Crimes against Humanity and Genocide during the liberation war began with a formal probe on 21 July 2011. He was arrested in conjunction with the case on 2 August 2011. The Prosecution submitted their proposed Formal Charge on 15 May, and the case was subsequently transferred from ICT-1 to ICT-2. Tribunal 2 took cognizance of the charges on 31 January 2012 and issued the Charge Framing Order indicting Kamaruzzaman on 4 June 2012. The trial began on 2 July 2012. The Prosecution called 18 witnesses in support of their case. The Defense was limited by the Tribunal to 5 witnesses. Witness testimony was completed on 24 March 2013. Closing Arguments were complete on 16 April 2013. The verdict comes just over three weeks after the termination of proceedings.

The Charges: The Charges in red indicate a guilty verdict. See here for the Original Charge Framing Order.

  1. Murder, Torture and Other Inhuman Acts as Crimes Against Humanity and Complicity in Such Crimes: for leading a group of Al-Badr in abducting civilian Badiuzzaman who was tortured and then killed. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act. Sentenced to life imprisonment
  2. Inhuman Acts as Crimes Against Humanity and Complicity in Such Crimes:  Sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for attacking, forcibly shaving and whipping Syed Abdul Hannan, the Principal of Sherpur College. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.
  3. Murder as a Crime Against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime:  Sentenced to death for advising and facilitating members of Al-Badr and Razakars in the massacre and rape of unarmed civilians in Shohagpur. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act. Some media sources have stated that Kamaruzzaman was convicted of Genocide under Charge 3. This is incorrect, the Charge Framing Order alleges murder as a Crime Against Humanity and the Charge was not amended to Genocide.
  4. Murder as a Crime against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime: Sentenced to death for the shooting of Golam Mostafa and Abul Kasem at Serih Bridge, causing the death of Golam Mostafa. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.
  5. Murder as a Crime against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime: Acquitted for the abduction and torture of Md. Liakat Ali and Mujibur Rahman Janu, and their ultimate murder behind the Ahammad Nagar UP office. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.
  6. Murder as a Crime against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime: Acquitted for the abduction of Tunu and Jahangir and subsequent torture and death of Tunu. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.
  7. Murder as a Crime against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime: Sentenced to life imprisonment for accompanying members of Al-Badr on a raid of the house of Tepa Mia in Golpajan Road the ultimate killing of six other unarmed civilians with a bayonet. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.

Legal Conclusions:
The Judgment followed closely the legal conclusions made in Tribunal 2’s Judgments against Kalam Azad Bachu and Qader Molla, as well as Tribunal 1’s decision against Delwar Hossain Sayedee. However, this case also addressed in detail the role of Jamaat-e-Islami in the commission of atrocities during the liberation war. There is some thought that this verdict could be used as the basis for banning the current Jamaat-e-Islami as a political party. A writ is currently pending before the High court requesting that the party be banned.

The full Judgment may be viewed here: Kamaruzzaman Full Judgment

Additionally, we will be publishing an in depth report on the factual and legal conclusions contained in the verdict. Please check this website for updates.