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30 May 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Mujahid Defense Closing Arguments

30 May 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid

Today Defense counsel Abdur Razzak began his portion of the Closing Arguments in the case of Mujahid. Although he had previously been designated to cover only the legal aspects of the case, he also discussed evidentiary and factual issues as well, particularly issues pertaining to documentary evidence.

The Defense also informed the Tribunal that because the senior Defense team is also appearing before the Appellate Division in conjunction with the Qader Molla case appeal, they would need the Tribunal to accommodate the Defense’s schedule (in particular Mr. Razzak’s schedule). He said that he would only be able to present arguments in the Mujahid case in the afternoon. The Tribunal agreed to accommodate the Defense counsel as far as possible.

Closing Arguments
The Defense noted that the book “Al-Badr” is the primary documentary evidence relied upon by the Prosecution to establish that Mujahid held a leadership position in the Al-Badr forces during the 1971 war period.

The counsel stated that the book refers to the speech of the ’Nezam’ (Head/leader) of Al-Badr, given the night before Pakistan surrendered on 16th December 1971. The counsel submitted that this is the worst possible form of hearsay evidence as there is no reference as to who recalled and reported the meeting, who gave the description of the meeting, when and where such an interview was taken and how the contents of the speech of the ‘Nezam’ could be authenticated. The Defense submitted that without knowing this information, the evidence cannot be relied upon in reaching any conclusion regarding Mujahid’s position within the Al-Badr forces or his alleged guilt. Because the book amounts to anonymous hearsay it cannot be relied upon. Continue reading