Tag Archives: court access

25 July 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – ATM Azharul Islam Cognizance of Charges, Mir Qasem Ali Defense Applications

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Pre-trial Proceedings against ATM Azharul Islam
  2. Pre-trial Proceedings against Mir Qasem Ali

Today in pre-trial proceedings against suspect ATM Azharul Islam the Prosecution submitted the Formal Charge before the Tribunal. The Tribunal passed an order taking cognizance of the Formal Charge and numbered the case as ICT BD Case No 5 of 2013. The Tribunal also directed the Prosecution to supply the Defense with all of the documents on which the Prosecution intends to rely, as well as the full list of proposed witnesses by the end of the day. They scheduled 18 August for hearing arguments regarding framing of the charges.

The Tribunal also heard an application filed by Alim’s Defense counsel requesting medically appropriate transportation of the suspect to and from the Tribunal. The Defense submitted that the ATM Azharul Islam suffers from back pain but is transported by prison van. The Prosecution objected saying that if such accommodation was made available to all it would create difficulties for the jail authorities due to the shortage of health friendly vehicles. The Tribunal passed an order directing the jail authority to provide ATM Azharul Islam health friendly vehicle if such vehicle is available to the prison authority.

In the pre-trial proceedings against suspect Mir Qasem Ali the Tribunal heard a Defense application seeking adjournment. The Defense submitted that they need privileged communication with their client Mir Qasem Ali. The Defense also requested legible copies of some Prosecution documents. The Tribunal rejected the request for adjournment but scheduled 28 July and 1 August from 10 am to 1 pm for privileged communication between the Defense and their client. They also directed the Prosecution to supply legible copies of the concerned documents if possible. They then heard the Prosecution’s submissions regarding the proposed charges against Ali.

The Prosecution submitted that until 6 November 1971, Mir Qasem Ali was the secretary of the Islami Chhatra Shangho Chittagong division. Between 6 November and 16 December 1971 they claimed that the Accused was also the general secretary of the Provincial Committee of the Islami Chhatra Shangho. They alleged that Mir Qasem was ‘Al-Badr high command.’ Most of the crimes allegedly committed under the leadership of Qasem Ali of took place at Dalim Hotel. The Prosecution briefly read out the 14 charges proposed against Mir Qasem Ali and stated that they had submitted the investigation report, a book titled ‘Muktijudder Potovumi’ vol- 1 and 2, witness statements, map of the place of occurrence, photos, and CDs in support of the charges. The charges are proposed under sections 3(2)(a), 3(2)(g), and 3(2)(h), indicating allegations of crimes against humanity; attempt, abetment or conspiracy; and complicity. The proposed charges are also framed indicating sections 4(1) and 4(2) as the relevant modes of liability, encompassing joint criminal liability and command responsibility respectively. Among the 14 charges proposed, charges 11 and 12 are for murder while the rest are for confinement, abduction, torture and other inhumane acts.

3 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Hartal Brief Coverage: AKM Yusuf Transfer of Documents, Alim PW 32

Today due to a nationwide hartal our researchers were unable to attend proceedings. Coverage of the following cases has been gathered from media sources as well as through conversation with both the Defense and Prosecution.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. AKM Yusuf
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

In the case against AKM Yusuf documents pertaining to the allegations against him were formally transferred from Tribunal 1 to Tribunal 2. Tribunal 2 also directed the Gazipur jail authorities to transport the Mr. AKM Yusuf in an appropriate vehicle given his health condition. The direction was given after Mr Saifur Rahman, Defense counsel for the Accused, informed the Tribunal that the accused was brought to the court in a microbus as opposed to a prison van despite the fact that he is seriously ill.

The Tribunal then moved to the case against Abdul Alim and recorded the testimony of Prosecution witness 32, Mr Rafiqul Islam Raju, who is the Advertisement Manager of the Bogra-based Daily Bangladesh. The witness is a formal witness who exhibited two issues of his newspaper dated 17 January 1971 and 23 January 1971.  Both newspaper issues were seized by the Investigation Officer during the investigation into the current case.  The Defense summarily conducted the cross-examination of the witness. The court then scheduled 4 July 2013 for the cross-examination of Prosecution witness 11, who is being recalled following an application by the Defense.

1 July 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – AKM Yusuf Pre-Trial, Chowdhury Testimony DW 1

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. 1.     Charge Framing Order against AKM Yusuf
  2. 2.     Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury

In the AKM Yusuf case, today was fixed for hearing on charge framing. However, the Tribunal heard an application filed by the Prosecution requesting that the case be transferred to Tribunal 2 for speedy disposal. The Prosecution submitted that the number of cases pending before Tribunal 2 is less than Tribunal 1. The Defense submitted that Mizanul Islam is conducting this case, and as he is usually transported by wheelchair, he would face significant difficulty in attempting to enter into Tribunal 2 (the room for Tribunal 1 is much larger than Tribunal 2). The requested that the Tribunal keep the case in Tribunal 1. After hearing both the sides, Tribunal granted the application and transferred the case to Tribunal 2.  The Tribunal then moved to the Chowdhury case, in which the Defendant testified for the eight day. The Tribunal then adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow, 2 July 2013. Continue reading

30 June 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Contempt Proceedings, Alim PW 28 and 29

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Contempt Proceeedings vs. Jahir Uddin Jalal
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

The counsel of contemnor Mr Jahir Uddin Jalal, who allegedly attacked defense counsel Mr Munshi Ahsam Kabir was not present in the court when the case was called for. The accused-contemnor and Prosecution witness himself stood before the Tribunal and requested a short pass-over of the matter until the arrival of his counsel. The Tribunal then went on to hear the case against Mr Abdul Alim. The Prosecution examined Prosecution witnesses 28 and 29, both of whom work at the Bangladesh Muktijuddho Jadughor (Bangladesh War of Liberation Museum) and who provided testimony as formal witnesses exhibiting seizure list documents.

After the conclusion of the witness testimony, Mr Monsur Rashid appeared before the tribunal on behalf of Jahir Uddin Jalal. He argued that the allegations brought against his client pertaining to the assault of a Defense attorney are ficticious. He argued that the Jalal was not in the vicinity/area where the alleged incident purportedly took place. Therefore he concluded that either this is a case of mistaken identification or it is merely a strategic tactic being used by the defense to harass the Prosecution witness or divert attention away from the regular cases pending. The counsel apologized before the Tribunal for his delay in the morning and stated that there was some delay at the security clearance in the tribunal’s entry gate. The judges were very critical about the counsel’s delay as this was the second time that he appeared late. Continue reading

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

9 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Kamaruzzaman Defense Closing Arguments

Today due to a nation-wide hartal our researchers were unable to attend proceedings. The following summary is compiled from media sources and conversations with the Defense and the Prosecution.

 Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammed Kamaruzzaman

Tribunal 2 adjourned for the day after expressing its displeasure at the  absence of the senior Defense counsel for Kamaruzzaman, and the general pattern of absence during hartals.  The Chairman of the Tribunal noted that some Defense counsel in other cases are now using security services provided by the law enforcement agencies in order to reach the Tribunal on hartal days. The Tribunal stated that the counsel for  Kamaruzzaman should do the same. The judges stated that this absence is a disservice to the Accused. Furthermore the Tribunal said that given the political situation, they would consider applying Section-13 of the International Crimes (Tribunals ) Act 1973 in deciding whether to allow further adjournments. The judges instructed the junior Defense counsel to communicate these messages to his seniors. Additionally, the Tribunal stressed that it would close the Defense’s  Closing Arguments if the Defense continued to be absent on hartal days.