Category Archives: Weekly Digests

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 #3: Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam Case Summary

This special report provides a detailed overview of the factual and legal arguments presented by the Prosecution and Defense in the case of Chief Prosecutor vs. Professor Gholam Azam. Arguments in the case were completed on 17 April 2013 and the case is currently awaiting verdict from Tribunal 1. We have reported on the documentary and witness evidence used to support each count within each distinct charge, as well as the general arguments made by both parties. Once the Tribunal issues its verdict, we will publish a supplementary report regarding the legal conclusions made in the Judgment.

For the full report please go here: Special Issue No. 3 – Gholam Azam Case Summary

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 11: March 31- April 4

The full report of this week’s proceedings can be read here: Weekly Digest, Issue 11 – March 31- April 4

This week Tribunal 1 dealt with the Motiur Rahman Nizami, Salauddin Qader Chowdhury, and Gholam Azam cases. In the case against Nizami the Defence cross-examined Prosecution witness 3, Rustom Ali Mollah. In the case against Salauddin Qader Chowdhury the Tribunal heard both the examination-in-chief and cross-examination of Prosecution witness 24, Babul Chakraborty. Gholam Azam’s Defence counsel continued their Defence Closing Arguments, addressing the conspiracy allegations under Charge 1, as well as legal arguments on incitement. Proceedings were delayed by hartals and the absence of Defense counsel.

In Tribunal 2, the Court heard the Prosecution’s Closing Arguments in the Kamaruzzaman case, during which they addressed evidentiary issues including hearsay, and legal arguments about the standard of complicity and under the doctrine of Superior Responsibility. Due to the hartal on 2 April, ICT 2 convened only briefly to allow the Prosecution to complete their examination-in-chief of the Investigation Officer in the Mujahid case. On 3rd April the Defence began its presentation of Closing Arguments in the Kamaruzzaman case, addressing factual issues in Charges 1-3 and responding to the legal issues raised by the Prosecution during their Closing Arguments.

The full report of this week’s proceedings can be read here: Weekly Digest, Issue 11 – March 31- April 4

Weekly Digest 10: March 24-28

We apologize for the delay in publishing this week’s digest.

The Tribunal was in recess on 26 March 2013 in honor of Bangladesh’s independence day. Additionally, opposition parties declared hartals on the 27th and 28th of March. Therefore our coverage of those days is gathered from media sources as well as discussions with the Defense and Prosecution. Our researchers are unable to attend proceedings on hartal days due to security concerns.

Tribunal 1:
Proceedings in Tribunal 1 continued to center on the Defense’s Closing Arguments in the Gholam Azam case this week, with counsel completing their submissions regarding factual issues and Charge 5. Senior Defense counsel Abdur Razzaq is scheduled to present arguments on legal issues and Charges 1-4 next week. In the Salauddin Qader Chowdhury case the Defense cross-examined Prosecution witnesses 22 and 23. Additionally, The Tribunal heard Chowdhury’s Defense application for police escort to the Tribunal on hartal days.

Tribunal 2:
Tribunal 2 dealt with two cases this week. In the Kamaruzzaman case, Defense witness 5 completed providing testimony, and the Prosecution began Closing Arguments. The Tribunal also heard testimony from Prosecution witness 17, the Investigating Officer, in the Mujahid case.

Please read the full report here: Weekly Digest, Issue 10 – March 24-28

Weekly Digest Issue 9: March 17-21

We apologize for the delay in publishing this week’s digest.

Hartals again interrupted our coverage of the ICT trials. Sunday, 17 March 2013, was a national holiday, and the Tribunal was in recess. Hartals (strikes) were called by the opposition party coalition on Monday and Tuesday, and due to security concerns our researchers were unable to attend. Therefore, our summaries for those days are drawn from media sources as well as conversations with the Defense and Prosecution. On Thursday, both Tribunal 1 and Tribunal 2 adjourned early, after it was announced that the President of Bangladesh had passed away on Wednesday.

Tribunal 1
In Tribunal 1, the Defense and the Prosecution in the Gholam Azam case presented in-depth arguments regarding the applicability of the Doctrine of Command Responsibility to civilians. In the Salauddin Qader Chowdhury case, the Defense cross-examined Prosecution witness 21, who began providing testimony the previous week. The Defense for Sayedee presented two additional applications: one for bail, and the other or certified copies of documents from two criminal cases in the district court system. The Tribunal also heard the examination of Prosecution witness 3 in the Nizami case. Finally, citing the growing insecurity in Dhaka, Defense counsel for Salauddin Qader Chowdhury applied for police escort to the Tribunal on hartal days.

Tribunal 2
Tribunal 2 also experienced significant delays due to hartals, absence of counsel, and illness of witnesses. The court heard the Defense’s cross-examination of Prosecution witness 13 in the Abdul Alim case and granted an extension for the production of a Defense witness in the Kamaruzzaman case. Additionally, the Tribunal dealt with ongoing contempt proceedings against Jamaat leaders.

Please read the full report here: Weekly Digest, Issue 9 – March 17-21

Weekly Digest Issue 8: March 10-14

We are slowly catching up with our Weekly Digests. Thank you for your patience!

This week proceedings in Tribunal 1 were dominated by the presentation of the Defense’s Closing Arguments in the case of Gholam Azam. In the Salauddin Qader Chowdhury case the Tribunal heard testimony from Prosecution witness 21, a former freedom fighter. Additionally, the Prosecution presented the Formal Charge against Mubarak Hossain, and the Tribunal took official cognizance of the charges.

In Tribunal 2 the court heard testimony from three Prosecution witnesses in the Mujahid case, one Prosecution witness in the Abdul Alim case, and three Defense witnesses in the Kamaruzzaman case. Additionally, the Tribunal dealt with ongoing contempt proceedings against Jamaat leaders, MK the Daily Shongram, and MK Anwar.

Read the full report here: Weekly Digest, Issue 8 – March 10-14