Tag Archives: Final Verdict

15 July 2013: Gholam Azam Found Guilty – Sentenced to 90 years

Today Tribunal 1 issued its second verdict in the case of Chief Prosecutor vs. Professor Gholam Azam. It is the second verdict issued by Tribunal 1 and the fifth verdict issued by the International Crimes Tribunal. The Tribunal found Gholam Azam guilty of all five charges against him.

The Charges and the Verdict:

  • Charge 1: Six Counts of Conspiracy to Commit Crimes under Section 3(2) of the ICT Act. Found guilty and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
  • Charge 2: Three Counts of Planning to Commit Crimes under Section 3(2) of the ICT Act. Found guilty and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
  • Charge 3: Twenty-eight counts of Incitement to Commit Crimes under Section 3(2) of the ICT Act. Found guilty and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.
  • Charge 4: Twenty-tree counts of Complicity in Crimes under Section 3(2) of the ICT Act. Found guilty and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.
  • Charge 5: Murder and Torture as Crimes against Humanity under Section 3(2)(a) of the ICT Act. The Charge alleged that Gholam Azam directed Peyara Miah, a member of the Peace Committee, to kill Siru Mia and his son because they were freedom fighters. Found guilty and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.

The Tribunal noted that it took Gholam Azam’s age (he is 91 years old) and ill health into account when determining his sentencing. They stated that he would serve the terms of imprisonment consecutively, guaranteeing that he will die in jail.

Charges 1-4 alleged that Gholam Azam was liable either under Section 4(1), which provides for a form of constructive liability (where, when a crime is committed by several persons, each will be liable as if he was the sole perpetrator), and Section 4(2), which provides for liability under the Doctrine of Command Responsibility. Charge 5 alleged direct individual responsibility for murder and torture, and does not mention any of the forms of liability enumerated under Section 4 of the Act.

From comments made during the Tribunal’s announcement of its verdict, it appears that for Charges 1-4 Gholam Azam was found guilty on the basis of Command Responsibility. The Prosecution had argued that Gholam Azam, as the Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami, controlled the organizational framework of Islami Chatra Sangha and played the pivotal role in forming the Shanti (Peace) Committee, Razakars, Al-Badr, and Al-Shams. Therefore they claimed that he was liable for all of the crimes committed by the members of those groups. They further alleged that Gholam Azam exercised Command Responsibility over the members of the Shanti (Peace) Committee, Razakars, Al-Badr, and Al-Shams, and that, even though he was a civilian, Gholam Azam had influence over the Pakistani Army. The Defense disagreed that Section 4(2) could be applied to Gholam Azam because he was a civilian and they claimed that the Doctrine of Command Responsibility is applicable only to leaders of military and auxiliary forces.

For a detailed discussion of the Gholam Azam case and the evidence presented by both parties please refer to our Special Report: Special Issue No. 3 – Gholam Azam Case Summary

Additionally, we will be posting the judgment here on our website once we receive the official copy from the court. We will also publish summary of the Tribunal’s legal conclusions once we have reviewed the Judgment in full.

14 July 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Gholam Azam Verdict Tomorrow, Abdus Sobhan Investigation Report, Mobarak Hossain PW 6

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Investigation of Abdus Sobhan
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Mobarak Hossain
  3. Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam

In the investigation of Abdus Sobhan the Prosecution submitted a progress report and requested additional time. The Tribunal granted the request and adjourned the proceedings of the case until 19 August 2013.

In the Mobarak Hossain case, the Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief of Abdul Malek, Prosecution Witness 6, who testified in support of charge 5. Thereafter, Defense Counsel sought time saying that Defense were not informed about the witness earlier. The Tribunal granted the request and the adjourned proceedings in the case until 16 July 2013.

Today, 14 July 2013, the Gholam Azam case was included in the cause list as item 4. The Tribunal passed an order stating that the judgment of this case has been prepared and will be issued tomorrow, 15 July 2013. Senior Defense Counsel Abdur Razzak informed the Tribunal that Gholam Azam is ill and requested permission for him to remain at the hospital tomorrow where he has received treatment throughout his detention. The Tribunal refused the request, stating that it is the right of the Accused to hear the judgment against him.

28 Feb 2013: Sayedee Convicted of 8 out of 20 Charges, Sentenced to Death

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.

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27 Feb 2013: Gholam Azam Closing Arguments, Sayedee Verdict for the 28th

This is a brief summary of today’s proceedings. A more detailed post will follow.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam
  2. 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 Molla cases.

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.