This special report provides a detailed overview of the factual and legal findings of the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) Judgment in Chief Prosecutor vs. Professor Gholam Azam. Gholam Azam was found guilty on all five charges and sentenced to 90 years imprisonment. The Tribunal made a point of noting that he deserved the death penalty, but because of his age and illness, they saw fit to sentence him to life imprisonment instead. Arguments in the case were completed on 17 April 2013 and the verdict was issued on 15 July 2013. It was the second verdict to be issued by Tribunal 1, and the fifth verdict issued by the ICT. Our previous special report on the Gholam Azam case reported in detail on the documentary and testimonial evidence used to support each count within each distinct charge against the Defendant, as well as the general arguments made by both parties. This report focuses on the legal outcomes of the case.
Today Tribunal 2 issued its fourth verdict in the case of Chief Prosecutor vs. Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid. It is the sixth verdict issued by the International Crimes Tribunal. The Tribunal found Mujahid guilty of four of seven charges: specifically Charges 3, 5, 6 (which the Tribunal combined with Charge 1, because both stem from the same events), and 7. He was acquitted of Charges 2 and 4.
The Charges and the Verdict:
Charge 1: Abetting Abduction as a Crime Against Humanity, or in the alternative, abetting murder as a Crime Against Humanity. This charge was combined with Charge 6 as the Tribunal felt that both pertained to the same incident, the massacre of the Bangladeshi intellectual community in December of 1971.
Charge 2: Persecution as a Crime Against Humanity, or in the alternative, for abetting Genocide by participating in an attack on the Hindu villages of Baidyadangi, Majhidangi and Baladangi. Charged under Section 3(2)(c)(g) of the Act and Sections 4(1) and 4(2). Acquitted.
Charge 3: Confinement as a Crime Against Humanity for his role in the confinement and torture of Ranji Nath, alias Babu Nath. Found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment for five years.
Charge 4: Abetting the crime of Confinement and causing Inhumane Acts as Crimes against Humanity under Section 3(2)(a)(g) for his alleged involvement in the abduction and torture of Abu Yusuf. Acquitted.
Charge 5: Abetting murder as a Crime Against Humanity for ordering the killing of detainees at the army camp at old MP Hostel, Nakhalpara, Dhaka. Found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment for life.
Charge 6: Abetting murder as a Crime Against Humanity, or in the alternative, abetting Genocide against the intellectual group. Charged under Section 3(2)(c)(g) read with Sections 4(1) and 4(2). Found guilty and sentenced to death in conjunction with Charge 7.
Charge 7: Participating in and Facilitating the commission of Murder as a Crime Against Humanity, or in the alternative, for persecution as a Crime Against Humanity, for his roll in an attack on the Hindu community on 13 May 1971. Found guilty and sentenced to death in conjunction with Charge 6.
The Tribunal noted that it considered Mujahid’s “superior position of authority on the Al-Badar force together with the intrinsic gravity and degree and pattern of criminal acts” as aggravating factors that further justified the death sentence.
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.