Tag Archives: hartal

18 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin Cross-Examination PW-2, Investigation of Syed Mohammad Qaisar, Pre-trial AKM Yusuf

Today a nation-wide hartal was called in response to the conviction and sentencing of Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid. Our coverage of today’s proceedings are therefore gathered from media sources as well as from conversations with the Prosecution and Defense.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, in absentia
  2. Investigation of Syed Mohammad Qaisar
  3. Pre-trial Stage of AKM Yusuf Case

Continuing where they left of on 16 July in the Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin case, the Tribunal heard the cross-examination of Prosecution witness 2, Asif Munir. The witness is the son of Professor Munir Chowdhury, who was killed as part of the Bangladeshi intellectual community in December of 1971. He was cross-examined by the two state appointed defense attorneys: Mr Shukur Khan who is representing Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Ms Tuny who is representing Chowdhury Mueen Uddin.

The Tribunal also directed the Prosecution to submit a progress report on the investigation into suspect Syed Mohammad Qaisar. They scheduled the report for 13 August 2013. Qaisar, an former state Minister in President Ershad’s cabinet, has been in police custody since 21 May 2013 for his alleged involvement in atrocities committed during the 1971 independence war.

In the pre-trial proceedings against AKM Yusuf the Tribunal granted a Defense application for additional time and adjourned the proceedings of the case until 22 July 2013.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin
Cross-Examination of Prosecution Witness 2
The witness Asif Munir previously testified that his father was abducted by Al-Badr men from their house in Central Road, Dhaka on 14 December 1971, just two days prior to Bangladesh’s victory against the Pakistan. He also claimed that his father was targeted because of his vocal opposition to the then Pakistani government’s anti-Bengali stance. He described how his father was abducted from their Central Road house and said that he learned the details of the incident from his mother, brother and a paternal uncle, all of whom witnessed the incident first hand.

Asif Munir that at around 1 p.m. on the day of the incident someone knocked at the door. The witness’s mother saw from the window that a microbus was standing in front of their house. The vehicle was covered with tree branches on its roof and covered with mud.  A few young men got out of the car and came to their gate, where they were met by the witness’ uncle, Mr Shamsher Chowdhury Rusho. The men asked Mr. Shamser  if he was Munir Chowdhury. The uncle said no and went back to the house where he informed the victim Munir that they were seeking him. Munir then went down to the ground floor to meet the men. The witness then said that he was told that his father was forced into the microbus at gunpoint after a heated exchange of words. The witness’s mother and brother, Mishuk Munir, witnessed the incident from the first floor. The witness stated he only four years old at that time.

After independence the family of the witness who saw the incident became sure that Ashrafuzzaman and Mueen Uddin were both directly involved in the abduction upon seeing the photographs of the perpetrators published in a newsreport in the Daily Purbadesh. They recognized the photographs of the two accused as being amongst those youths who abducted the victim. The newspapers alleged that these men were directly involved in the killing of many other Bengali intellectuals.

The witness further stated that he later coincidentally met one Mr Delwar Hossain who was similarly picked up by Al-Badr men in December, 1971. Delwar told him that he heard the name of Munir Chowdhury and saw him amongst those who were detained and tortured in the Al-Badr concentration camp in Mohammadpur Physical Training Institute.

The witness stated that his brother also gave similar description in his statement given to the Investigation Officer of the case, before his early demise in a tragic road accident on 13 August 2011.

16 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin – PW 1 and 2

A nationwide hartal was called in response to the conviction and sentencing of Professor Gholam Azam. Our coverage of the day’s proceedings is collected from media sources and from conversations with both the Defense and Prosecution teams.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, in absentia

In the joint case against Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, both of whom are being tried in absentia, the Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief of two prosecution witnesses. Ms Masuda Banu Ratna testified as Prosecution witness 1, followed by Asif Munir, as Prosecution witness 2. Ms. Masuda Banu Ratna (PW 1) was cross-examined by the two state appointed defense attorneys, Mr Shukur who is representing Ashrafuzzaman and Ms Tuny who is representing Mueen Uddin prior to PW-2’s examination-in-chief.

Prosecution witness 1
Prosecution witness 1: Ms. Masuda Banu Ratnatestified that both Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman took part in anti-independence programs on Dhaka University campus and that she knew them at that time. She stated that she saw the two in a meeting held at the Arts Faculty Building in Dhaka University campus on 15 August 1971, marking the independence day of Pakistan. She stated that Ashrafuzzaman and Mueen Uddin were involved in the abduction of her uncle Professor Giasuddin Ahmed. The witness stated that she gathered information about various anti-independence groups and their activities by roaming around various areas, including Dhaka University campus. The Defense counsel claimed that their respective clients were not involved in the abduction of Prof. Giasuddin on 14 December 1971, as alleged in the charge framing order.

Prosecution witness 2
Following the cross-examination of Prosecution witness 1, the Tribunal recorded the examination-in-chief of Prosecution witness 2, Asif Munir. The witness is the son of an intellectual Professor, Munir Chowdhury, who was killed in the December 1971 round-up of Bangladesh’s intellectual community. Munir Chowdhury was a professor in the Bangla Department of Dhaka University. The witness testified that his father was abducted by Al-Badr men from their house in Central Road, Dhaka on 14 December 1971, just two days prior to Bangladesh’s victory against the Pakistani army. He stated his father was targeted because he was vocally opposed to the then Pakistani government for its anti-Bengali stance. His cross-examination is to be held tomorrow, 18 July 2013.

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.

3 July 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Hartal, Mobarak Hossain

Today due to a nation-wide hartal our researchers were unable to attend proceedings. The Tribunal heard testimony from Prosecution witness 5, Ali Akbar, in the Mobarak Hossain case. The Defense Counsel then conducted the cross-examination and the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until 14 July 2013.

12 May 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Hartal, Nizami PW 7, AKM Yusuf Cognizance of Charges

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs Motiur Rahman Nizami 
  2. Chief Prosecution vs AKM Yusuf

In the Nizami case the Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief of Prosecution Witness 7, Pardip Kumar Dev, who testified in support of charge 4. This charge alleges that Motiur Rahman Nizami conspired to commit crimes under section 3(2)(g) of the ICT Act 1973 and was complicit in murders, rapes, looting and destruction of properties committed in the village Karamja,  The charge alleges both accomplice liability under Section 4(1) and Command Responsibility liability under Section4(2) of the ICT Act 1973.

Pardip testified that during the killing he saw Sukur, Afzal, Asad, and Moslem Gong at the site of the  incident. He stated he could not recall whether he was interviewed previously by the Investigating Officer. After asking a few question during which the witness did not implicate the Accused, Prosecutor Mir Iqbal requested permission to declar Pradip Kumar Dey as a hostile witness. The Tribunal granted the request and allowed the Prosecutor to continue as though cross-examining the witness. The Prosecution then suggested that the witness was interviewed by the Investigation Officer on  6 November 2011 and that he accused Motiur Rahman Nizami and Rofiqun Nabi of being involved in the killing. The witness answered that he does not remember the interview. The Prosecution then suggested that he saw Nizami at the site of the alleged killing but is now denying the fact because of financial coercion from the Defense. The witness denied the suggestion. Subsequently the Defense declined to cross-examine the witness.

Today the Tribunal additionally  took cognizance of the Formal Charges submitted against AKM Yusuf and issued a warrant for the suspect’s arrest .They requested that law enforcement  produce AKM Yusuf by 26 May 2013.

AKM Yusuf was produced before the Tribunal in the afternoon and the Tribunal sent him  to the jail to be detained until trial. The decision to send him to jail was made in-chambers.

Weekly Digest Issue 11: March 31- April 4

The full report of this week’s proceedings can be read here: Weekly Digest, Issue 11 – March 31- April 4

This week Tribunal 1 dealt with the Motiur Rahman Nizami, Salauddin Qader Chowdhury, and Gholam Azam cases. In the case against Nizami the Defence cross-examined Prosecution witness 3, Rustom Ali Mollah. In the case against Salauddin Qader Chowdhury the Tribunal heard both the examination-in-chief and cross-examination of Prosecution witness 24, Babul Chakraborty. Gholam Azam’s Defence counsel continued their Defence Closing Arguments, addressing the conspiracy allegations under Charge 1, as well as legal arguments on incitement. Proceedings were delayed by hartals and the absence of Defense counsel.

In Tribunal 2, the Court heard the Prosecution’s Closing Arguments in the Kamaruzzaman case, during which they addressed evidentiary issues including hearsay, and legal arguments about the standard of complicity and under the doctrine of Superior Responsibility. Due to the hartal on 2 April, ICT 2 convened only briefly to allow the Prosecution to complete their examination-in-chief of the Investigation Officer in the Mujahid case. On 3rd April the Defence began its presentation of Closing Arguments in the Kamaruzzaman case, addressing factual issues in Charges 1-3 and responding to the legal issues raised by the Prosecution during their Closing Arguments.

The full report of this week’s proceedings can be read here: Weekly Digest, Issue 11 – March 31- April 4

24 April 2013: ICT-2 daily Summary – Abdul Alim Prosecution Witness 17

Today our researchers were unable to attend proceedings due to a nation-wide hartal. Our coverage is compiled from media sources as well as conversations with the Prosecution and the Defense.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim: Prosecution witness 17, Accused Present

The prosecution called for Mr Abdus Sobhan Sardar to give testimony as PW-17 in the case against Abdul Alim. The witness is a resident of Akkelpur in Jaipurhat and gave evidence mainly in support of Charge 6.

The witness stated that the first week of May 1971 he heard that the Pakistani Army took three people into their custody from amongst fourteen to fifteen people who were hiding in the house of Bhatsha Union Parishad chairman Mr Syed Ali. The group was allegedly fleeing to India because of the war. The remaining people from the group were handed over to the Akkelpur Peace Committee and detained in the waiting room of Akkelpur Railway Station. The witness testified that during the three days of detention there, various Razakars assured the detainees that they would be free to go if Mr. Alim ordered them to be released the same. The prosecution witness testified that he heard this information from locals in the area.

The witness stated that the detainees were later shot by the Pakistani Army near Bakjana station after few members of Razakar forces, including Makbur Kabiraj, Moti Chairman and Boor Bakhth, delivered them to the army. One Mozammel Hossain was the only survivor.