Tag Archives: Abdul Alim

25 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Alim Prosecution Witness 35

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

In the case against Abdul Alim. the Prosecution called the Investigation Officer, Mr ZM Altafur Rahman, as Prosecution witness 35. The Investigation Officer testified about his findings and stated that the accused played a central role in committing atrocities as the Chairman of Jaipurhat Peace Committee, which acted as an auxiliary force of the Pakistani Army.  He referred to documentary evidence collected during the investigation as being incriminating of Alim. These documents include several books that have been exhibited in addition to documents and newspapers seized by the Investigation Officer and enumerated on the Seizure List. Cross-examination was scheduled for a later date.

Demeanor of the Court
A junior member of the Defense informed the Tribunal that senior counsel Ahsanul Huq Hena, who has been cross-examining the witnesses, is ill. The Defense requested a long adjournment until Hena is able to fully recover. The Tribunal was critical of the request and noted that this sort of delay, on a regular basis, is tantamount to obstruction of justice. The Tribunal noted that there have been frequent requests for adjournment based on  either the illness of a Defense counsel or that of the Accused. They stated that such requests will not be entertained and that the Defense must complete the cross-examination between 29 July to 1 August 2013. The Judges stressed that the trial will continue at its pace without such delays, save in exceptional instances.

24 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – AKM Yusuf Charge Framing Order, Khan and Mueen Uddin PW 5, Alim PW

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Pre-trial Proceedings against AKM Yusuf
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin
  3. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim 

Today Tribunal began by hearing a bail application on behalf of AKM Yusuf. The Defense presented arguments both regarding the necessity of bail, and the insufficiency of the charges proposed against AKM Yusuf by the Prosecution. They argued that the suspect should be discharged as the allegations against him are malafide and inspired by political motivations. The Tribunal also heard the Prosecution’s response. They  scheduled 1 August for issuing their order regarding bail and the potential framing of charges against the suspect. They instructed the jail authorities to submit a report on the availability of their medical facilities and their ability to meet the needs of the suspect while in custody.

The Tribunal then turned to the case of Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin in which the Prosecution  called Prosecution witness 5 to testify in support of Charge 6. As the trials are being conducted in absentia,  state appointed Defense counsel Shukur Khan and Tuny will be allowed to conduct the cross examination at a later date on behalf of Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin respectively.

In the Alim case the Tribunal rejected an application from the Defense requesting additional time due to the illness of senior Defense counsel Ahsanul Huq Hena. A junior Defense attorney stated that Hena is physically unwell and is undergoing treatment at the United Hospital. The Tribunal was critical of the delayed application and stated that it would briefly begin the examination of the Investigation Officer and would continue  it the following day. Thus the tribunal very briefly started recording the examination of the Io, but then fixed 25 July 2013 as the date for recording his entire testimony. Continue reading

4 August 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Khan and Mueen Uddin PW 9, Alim cross-examination of Investigation Officer

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

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

Tribunal 2 recorded the testimony of Prosecution witness 9 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 on this day. The testimony of Prosecution witness 9 supports Charge 11 against the accused, pertaining to the killing of physician Dr Alim Chowdhury.

The court also made some progress in the case against Abdul Alim as it continued to record the cross-examination of ZM Altafur Rahman, the Investigation Officer for the case. So far, the Defense counsel has directed their line of questioning at highlighting inconsistencies in the investigation procedures followed by the Investigation Officer. The Tribunal adjourned Alim’s case until 5th August, 2013. Continue reading

11 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Contempt Proceedings, Alim Adjournment

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Contempt Proceedings Again Prosecution Witness, Jahir Uddin Jalal
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

 Both the contempt proceedings against Prosecution witness Jahir Uddin Jalal and the Alim case appeared in the daily cause list for Tribunal 2 today. In the contempt proceedings against Jahir Uddin Jalal, the Prosecution witness was represented by Advocate Monsur Rashid who submitted a written explanation denying all allegations. Jalal, alias Bicchu, allegedly attacked Defense lawyer Munshi Ahsan Kabir near the high court. Mujahid was briefly hospitalized after the alleged attack but was soon released. The petitioner and alleged victim sought additional time to review Jalal’s explanation before responding. The Tribunal scheduled further hearing of the matter for 21 July 2013.

After the contempt proceedings were scheduled, the Defense for the Alim case also filed a petition seeking time and adjournment for the day. There was no objection from the Prosecution and the Tribunal adjourned the case until 17 July 2013. 

9 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Alim Application for Admission of Statements under Section 19(2)

Today due to scheduled vacation our researcher was unable to attend proceedings. The following coverage was gathered from media sources.

The Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

The Tribunal heard an application from the Prosecution requesting that statements previously made by a few witnesses to the Investigation Officer be admitted into evidence under Section 19(2) of the ICT Act. Section 19(2) allows for unsworn statements made by witnesses to the Investigation Officer to be admitted where the witness is deceased or unavailable. The Prosecutor informed the Tribunal that four Prosecution Witnesses who were supposed to testify against Abdul Alim have been “missing” since May 2013. The witnesses who cannot be found are Mr Nurul Islam, Mr Abul Khayer Sarkar, Mr Fazlur Rahman and Mr Matiur Rahman. The Tribunal rejected the application, stating that admitting the statements would not be lawful and would have prejudicial effect against the accused as the defense would be deprived of the right to cross-examine the missing witnesses.

The rejection of the application is out of step with the Tribunal’s previous decisions. Previously, the Tribunal has accepted the similar requests from the Prosecution with regard to five other prosecution witnesses who were also unavailable to give testimony. Two, ,Mr Dulu Talukdar and Akramuddin died in 2011; two others, Mr Shirajul Haque and Shamsul Huda Chowdhury, are physically unfit to give testimony before the tribunal and one Krishna Kumar Bajla, currently resides in India where his wife is receiving medical treatment. The Tribunal noted that it would not be unjust to allow the statements of the deceased and witnesses who are unavailable due to illness or for being out of the country be considered as evidence, as their case is distinct from the ones who are merely suspected of being missing.

 The Defense counsel Mr. Tajul Islam objected regarding the acceptance of the statements of the two deceased witnesses, stating that the two died long before submission of the witness list. The Defense accused the Prosecution of intentionally keeping the names of those two witnesses on the list despite knowing about their death. However this argument did not change the Tribunal’s conclusion.

8 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Abdul Alim PW 33 and 34

Due to scheduled vacation our researcher did not attend proceedings today. The following coverage has been gathered from media sources.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. 1.     Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

In the Alim case the Prosecution called two additional formal witnesses, PW-33 and PW-34, to testify regarding documents seized by the Investigation Officer and listed in the seizure list. Prosecution witness 33, Mr Anisur Rahman, is a librarian with the Investigation Agency designated to probe the facts of alleged war crimes Prosecution witness 34, Mr Nabibur Rahman, is the Commander of Akkelpur Upazila Command of the Bangladesh Muktijuddha Shanshad (a Union of Freedom Fighters of Bangladesh). He testified regarding the submission of a book titled ‘Muktijuddhe Jaipurhat’ (Jaipurhat in the war of liberation) which appears in the seizure list. Both witnesses presented the relevant documents and stated that the Investigation Officer had seized the documents from them. They did not discuss the contents of the exhibited documents. The Tribunal then scheduled 11 July for the testimony of the Investigation Officer. 

4 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – AKM Yusuf Scheduled Hearing of Charges, Abdul Alim Cross-Examination of PW 11

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Pre-trial stages against AKM Yusuf
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

In the pre-trial proceedings against AKM Yusuf the Tribunal passed an order stating that it would begin hearing the charges against the accused. Defense counsel Tajul Islam informed the Tribunal that they had only just received the AKM Yusuf’s brief and requesting additional time to prepare upon receiving client instruction. The Tribunal then scheduled the Charge Hearing for 14 July 2013.  AKM Yusuf, a Jamaat-e-Islami political leader, was arrested on 12 May 2013. Tribunal 1 initially took cognizance of the allegations against Yusuf, and the case was then transferred to Tribunal 2.

The Tribunal then turned to the Alim case where they allowed the Defense to recall Prosecution witness 11 for cross-examination. The initial examination-in-chief of Prosecution witness 11 was conducted in the absence of Defense counsel. The Defense had requested an adjournment on several occasions (17, 25, and 27 February 2013) due to the inability of the defense counsel to attend the court proceedings for miscellaneous reasons. The Tribunal denied these applications and allowed the examination-in-chief of the witness to take place without Defense presence. The witness has been recalled based on a defense application arguing that recalling the witness was necessary for the interest of justice.

Abdul Alim Prosecution Witness 11 Cross-Examination
The Defense’s cross-examination aimed at undermining the reliability of the evidence and the credibility of the witness. In particular, they implied that the witness could not have identified Alim as being connected with the alleged charges and that he did not know Alim during the war. They alleged that the witness was not even in Bangladesh. 

The witness stated that he has 3 brothers and 4 sisters and they all lived together in the same house in 1971. He does not know when the Pakistani Army invaded Jaipurhat. He stated that he did not go to Jaipurhat Sadar road during the 1971 war and also never went to Alim’s house before or during war or  during the war. He stated that he was unable to remember when the Pakistani Army first entered in Khetlal area and could not say if there was an Army Brigade headquarters in Khetlal. The witness further stated that he does not know how many army camps were there but heard that there was one army camp, though he could not say where it was located. 

The Defense asked the witness how many members there were in the Jaipurhat Peace Committee or who its secretary was at that time. He said that probably someone named Abdul Sardar was the Chairman of Khetlal Peace Committee, but he could not name the the Secretary. He said he did not know how many members were in the Jaipurhat Peace Committee. The witness stated that the house of Saidur Rahman, who he had referred to in his previous testimony, is located in Mandal Para about 300 yards south-west of the witness’ house. He testified that he did visit Saidur Rahman’s house before the war of liberation. The witness testified that Saidur Rahman had 4 brothers and 1 sister and his father is the late Esharat Ullah Mandal.

The witness stated that he studied at Kalai Moinuddin High School, whose Principal was Qazi Talibur Rahman. His confirmed his date of birth (as it appears on his SSC certificate) as 1 July 1955. He said he was not a voter during the 1970 General Election. The witness acknowledged that he did not file a case regarding the murder of his family but said he was not sure whether anyone else from his family filed a case. The Defense noted that the late Badol’s brother, Biswanath Dev, filed a case against 6 persons in 1972. They suggested that the witness was intentionally pretending not to know about this case because Abdul Alim is not accused in that case. The witness denied the suggestion.

The witness then stated that he was not present during the meeting between Alim, other Peace Committee members and Major Afzal. He claimed that he did not know whether there were news reports about the meeting.

The witness said he did not show to the Investigation Officer the bush where the alleged incident took place. He described the area around his house. He stated the distance between his house and Hazunza Har is about 2 to 2.5 km. There are two villages in between, Harunza Hat to Khetlal is 3 to 4 Km of distance. There is a mosque in the South-West of the witness’s house after which there lies a Hindu village. 

The witness acknowledged that he does not have any documentary evidence to show that Alim was the Chairman of local Peace Committee or a Rajakar member, but he reiterated that he had heard that Alim held those positions. He denied that Abbas Ali Khan was the actual Chairman. The witness said that he does not know whether the Razakars had a uniform or dress code. He denied the Defense’s suggestion that there was no bush near his house in 1971 and that he was not actually in Bangladesh at the time. He said that he does not know about any village named Turipara near Alim’s house.

The Defense alleged that the witness is providing fabricated evidence before the Tribunal at the instruction of the Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Unity Council. The judges objected and stated that this suggestion would not be recorded as it is aggravating towards religious groups. The Defense also alleged that Alim was in hiding during the war.