Sayedee Verdict Today Tribunal 1 issued the third verdict of the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal. The verdict was issued against Delwar Hossain Sayedee who was tried for 20 Charges [See here for the Charge Framing Order]. Sayedee was found guilty on 8 Charges, specifically Charges 6,7,8,10,11,14,16 and 19. He was acquitted of Charges 1,2,3,4,5,9,12,13,15,17 and 18. Charge 20 was dropped previously by the Prosecution.
The Tribunal sentenced Sayedee to death based on his conviction on Charges 8 and 10. Under Charge 8 he was found guilty of directly participating in abduction, murder and persecution as Crimes against Humanity in conjunction with the 8 May 1971 attack on houses of Chitholia, arson attack on the Hindu community at Parerhat Bandar, and instigation of the torture and murder of a civilian, Ibrahim. Under Charge 10 Sayedee was found guilty of direct participation in persecution and murder as Crimes against humanity in conjunction with the 2 June 1971 arson attack on the Hindu Para of Umedpur and ordering the killing of an individual, Bisabali.
We have not yet obtained copies of the summary or full judgment, but will make them available as soon as we receive them.
This is a brief summary of today’s proceedings. A more detailed post will follow.
Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:
Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam
Chief Prosecutor vs. Delwar Hossain Sayedee
The Tribunal heard the Prosecution’s Closing Arguments for the 8th consecutive day. The Prosecution submitted his arguments in support of Charge 5, torture and murder of Sub Inspector of Police Siru Miah as a Crime against Humanity. This concluded the Prosecution’s arguments based onthe charges. Thereafter Prosecutor Zead-al-Malum sought adjournment and Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of Ghulam Azam until March 3, 2013.
Today the Sayedee case appearedas Item 2 on the cause list. After hearing the Closing Arguments in the Gholam Azam case the Chairman of Tribunal 1, ATM Fazle Kabir, stated that on January 29, 2013 the Tribunal had completed hearing Closing arguments in the Sayedee case and the case had been under consideration awaiting verdict since then. He announced that the Final Judgment has been prepared and Tribunal will deliver its verdict tomorrow, February 28, 2013.
This will be the third judgment issued by the International Crimes Tribunal, the first to be issued by Tribunal 1. It follows the verdicts in the Kalam Azad and Qader Mollacases.
It should be noted that after the announcement of the impending verdict, Jamaat-e-Islami has called a hartal (strike) for tomorrow in protest of what they expect to be an unfair verdict against Sayedee, a party leader. In light of the energy behind the ongoing Shabagh movement (which was sparked by the sentence given in the Qader Molla case and is unified around calling for the death penalty against alleged war criminals) and opposition to the trials by Jamaat-e-Islami, there is potential for significant demonstrations and violence tomorrow.
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.