This week’s Weekly Digest follows Tribunal 1’s progress in the Gholam Azam case where the Defense continued its Closing Arguments. Additionally, the report contains a summary of witness testimony in the Salauddin Qader Chowdhury case. The Tribunal also formally took cognizance of the charges against Mubarak Hossain and ordered that he be detained in jail this week.
Turning to Tribunal 2, the report details developments in the Mujahid, Kamaruzzaman, and Alim cases and additionally addressed several ongoing contempt proceedings. In the Mujahid case the Tribunal disposed of three Defense applications and heard the direct examination of Prosecution witnesses 14, 15 and 16. In Kamaruzzaman the Tribunal heard testimony from Defense witnesses 1, 2 and 3. In the case of Abdul Alim they heard testimony from Prosecution witness 12. Finally the court dealt with ongoing contempt proceedings against Jamaat leaders, the Daily Shongram, and MK Anwar.
We apologize that we are slightly behind in our weekly digests of the proceedings. Due to limited staff and unforeseen obstacles, including hartals, we have had some delays in our coverage. Our daily summaries are up to date and we hope to have our weekly digests up to date shortly as well. Thank you for your patience.
Please find below our Weekly Digest Issue 6, covering the week of February 24-28. This week was dominated by the announcement of the verdict in Chief Prosecutor vs. Delwar Hossain Sayedee on 28 February 2013, in which Sayedee was found guilty of 8 charges and sentenced to death. For a detailed report on the Judgment against Sayedee please see our Special Issue Report, available here.
In addition to issuing the Sayedee Judgment, Tribunal 1 also continued to hear the Prosecution’s Closing Arguments in the Gholam Azam case, and the Prosecution submitted Formal Charges against Mubarak Hossain. Tribunal 2 heard proceedings in the Kamaruzzaman, Abdul Alim and Mujahid cases, as well as contempt proceedings.
We are releasing the first of our Special Issue reports, a series which will cover both the legal and factual conclusions of the Tribunal as expressed in case verdicts, and other topically relevant legal issues.
This report examines the Judgment in Chief Prosecutor vs. Delwar Hossain Sayedee, which was issued on 28 February 2013. Through this report We have attempted to distill the major conclusions expressed by the Tribunal into a digestible format. This report does not contain critical analysis of the legal merits of the judgment. The report simply is meant to facilitate broader access to and understanding of the ICT’s proceedings.
This week Tribunal 1 heard matters in the Gholam Azam, Nizami, and Chowdhury cases. In the Gholam Azam case the Tribunal heard arguments regarding a number of Defense applications, including requests to depose further witnesses and another request for bail. They began hearing the Prosecution’s Closing Arguments, as scheduled on 17 February. In Chowdhury, the Tribunal heard the cross-examination of Prosecution Witness 10, part of which was conducted by Chowdhury himself. In the Nizami case, the Tribunal heard an application from the Prosecution requesting permission to submit additional documents and the Defense cross-examined Prosecution witness 2, Zahir Uddin Jalal.
Tribunal 2 covered the Kamaruzzaman and Mujahid cases. The Tribunal also rejected an application for review of its final judgment in the Qader Molla case. In Kamaruzzaman, the Tribunal granted a request from the Prosecution to limit the Defense to four witnesses in support of their case. They also heard the ongoing cross-examination of the Investigating Officer, Prosecution witness 18. In the Mujahid case, the Tribunal heard the examination of Prosecution witness 13, Shakti Shaha. The Tribunal also dealt with contempt proceedings against Ahmed Ziauddin (linked to the Skype controversy) and leaders of the Dhaka City Unit of Jamaat-e-Islami.
This week’s digest details the ongoing progress of the Gholam Azam, Nizami, and Chowdhury cases in Tribunal 1. The Tribunal also heard matters regarding the ongoing investigations against Abdus Shobhan and Mubarak Hossain. In the Gholam Azam case the Prosecution completed its cross-examination of Defense witness 1 and the Tribunal scheduled February 17th for Closing Arguments, despite requests from the Defense for more time to produce additional witnesses. In the Chowdhury case the cross-examination of Prosecution witness 17 took place in-camera, and direct and cross-examination of Prosecution witnesses 19 and 20 was completed. The Nizami case experienced delays, as Defense counsel were unable to reach the Tribunal due to ongoing violence in the Palton neighborhood of Dhaka (where their offices are located).
Tribunal 2 heard the cross-examination of the Investigating Officer in the Kamaruzzaman case, who appeared in Court as Prosecution witness 18. In the Mujahid case The Defense also cross-examined Prosecution witness 1. In the Abdul Alim the Defense cross-examined prosecution witness 10. The Tribunal additionally granted additional time to Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir to respond to contempt proceedings against him.
This week was dominated by the second Judgment of the ICT, issued by Tribunal 2 in the case ofChief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Qader Molla. The Judgment was issued on February 5th. The Accused was found guilty of 5 of 6 charges, all counts of crimes against humanity. Closing arguments in the case were completed on January 17, 2012. The Judgment was issued less than three weeks after the close of the case. Qader Molla was sentenced to life imprisonment. This report contains detailed analysis of the verdict and the factual and legal conclusions contained within it.
Tribunal 1 heard matters in the Gholam Azam, Nizami, and Chowdhury cases as well as a request from The Economistfor additional time to respond to contempt proceedings related to its publication of the alleged Skype and email conversations between the former Chairman and expatriate Bangladeshi lawyer, Ahmed Ziauddin. In addition to issuing the Qader Molla Judgment, Tribunal 2 also dealt with ongoing contempt proceedings against Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir and BNP leader MK Anwar, and issued an Order to Jamaat to explain comments made by its Central Executive member and Assistant Secretary General of Dhaka or face contempt.
This week’s proceedings were dominated by the completion of Closing Arguments in the Sayedee case, heard by Tribunal 1. The Defense presented legal arguments regarding delay in prosecution, malafide intent, the elements of the crimes, and the value of out-of-court statements admitted into evidence under Section 19(2) of the ICT Act. The Prosecution submitted its reply and requested the death penalty against the Accused. The case is now under review and awaiting the Tribunal’s judgment.
Tribunal 2 had a light week, primarily dealing with administrative and evidentiary applications. They additionally heard arguments in pending contempt proceedings.