Tag Archives: hartal

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.

18 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Mujahid Cross-Examination of PW 17

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim: Rescheduling of PW 16, Accused Present
  2. Prosecution vs. Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid : Cross-examination of PW 17, Accused Present

Today the Prosecutor in the case against Abdul Alim, Mr Rana Das Gupta, requested an adjournment of the case until the 22nd or 23rd of April, due to difficulties in producing Prosecution witness 16. He stated that the witness had encountered difficulty in reaching Dhaka and therefore was not present. Defense counsel, Mr Ahsanul Huq Hena, added that the 23rd would be appropriate as it has been announced as a hartal day and it is unlikely that the Defense counsel in other cases will appear. The Tribunal agreed and scheduled 23 April 2013 for the next hearing.

The Tribunal then turned to the case against Mujahid, in which the Defense resumed its cross-examination of  Prosecution witness 17, the Investigation Officer Abdur Razzaq. The Defense’s core line of questioning aimed at highlighting the various procedural flaws in the investigation process and underlying deficiencies that undermine the reliability of the officer’s findings.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Mujahid: Cross-Examination of PW 17
The witness testified that he went to Gopinath Shaha’s house at 11 a.m. He confirmed that Gopinath Shaha’s three siblings, Khirodh Shaha, Shakti Shaha (PW-13), and Kanon Bala live in India. The Investigating Officer admitted that Prosecution witness 13, Shakti Shaha, periodically comes to Bangladesh and that this fact was not included in the statement of Gopinath Shaha.

The Defense suggested that during the investigation it was discovered that Gopinath had previously filed a case regarding his father’s death. They alleged tat this fact was being concealed because Mujahid’s name was among the accused in the prior case. The Investigating Officer denied the allegations. He admitted that he did not determine the date of Shakti Shaha’s last visit to Bangladesh prior to the witness’ date of testimony. Continue reading

11 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Kamaruzzaman Adjournment

Due to an ongoing nation-wide hartal our researchers were unable to attend proceedings today. The following brief summary is compiled from media sources and conversations with the Defense and Prosecution.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammed Kamaruzzaman

Today the Tribunal adjourned the Kamaruzzaman case for the fourth consecutive day due to the absence of the senior Defense counsel. The Defense stated that the senior counsel were unable to attend due to personal difficulties resulting from the hartal.  The Chairman of the Tribunal reiterated that the Defense has been granted the right to use law enforcement if necessary on Hartal days. The judges stated that absence amounts to obstruction of the judicial process. Furthermore, the Tribunal noted that given the present political situation, hartals are becoming more frequent. Therefore the Tribunal cannot continue to adjourn proceedings and would close the Defense’s case if they fail to attend on upcoming hartal days. 

11 April 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Mubarak Hossain Investigation, Gholam Azam Adjournment

Due to an ongoing nation-wide  hartal our researchers were unable to attend proceedings today. The following summary is compiled from media sources and conversations with the Defense and Prosecution.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Investigation of Mubarak Hossain
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam

Today Ahsanul Huq Hena, senior Defence counsel for Mubarak Hossain, submitted the Defense’s request for the discharge of his client from the case. The Defense also requsted bail. Prosecutor Zahed Imam opposed the bail prayer. After hearing both sides the Tribunal scheduled 23 April for the passing of its order.

In the Gholam Azam case the Defense requested an adjournment until Monday, 15 April, because senior Defence counsel Abdur Razzaq was unable to attend due to “personal difficulty.” Prosecutor Sultan Mahmud Simon opposed the prayer. The Tribunal passed an order scheduling 15 April for the Defense’s Closing Arguments. The order stated that further requests for time extensions would not be allowed under any circumstances.