Tag Archives: hartal

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.

10 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Alim Examination-in-Chief of Prosecution Witness 15, Kamaruzzaman Adjournment

Due to a 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 the Prosecution.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammed Kamaruzzaman

Examination in Chief of Alim Prosecution Witness 15
In the Alim case the Prosecution called Prosecution witness 15, Mozammel Hossain. The witness is allegedly the survivor of an assault mission in Jaipurhat. The witness testified that at least 22 Awami League supporters were killed during the and assault conducted by the Pakistani Army during the 1971 Liberation War. Hossain stated that the Pakistani Army acted based on a list of targets provided by the Accused, Abdul Alim, who happened to be a veteran Muslim League leader and Peace Committee member at that time.  The witness claimed that the alleged list contained his name. He said that the attack was directed against local Awami League supporters at the time. Hossain alleged that such supporters were first taken from their village mosque to the nearby village of Birala where they were lined up. People whose names did not appear on the list were released while the rest were taken to Chakpahananda village. There they were tortured and killed. The witness was one of the survivors.  While describing the atrocities the witness showed the court scars from his injuries.

Kamaruzzaman Adjournment due to Absence of Defense During Hartal
Kamaruzzaman’s case was also listed in the daily cause list. Mr Abdur Razzaq, the senior Defense counsel for the accused was again absent due to the ongoing hartal. A junior counsel appearing on behalf of the Accused informed the Tribunal that the senior counsel is unable to attend proceedings on hartal days.  The case was therefore adjourned.

9 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Kamaruzzaman Defense Closing Arguments

Today due to a nation-wide hartal our researchers were unable to attend proceedings. The following summary is compiled from media sources and conversations with the Defense and the Prosecution.

 Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammed Kamaruzzaman

Tribunal 2 adjourned for the day after expressing its displeasure at the  absence of the senior Defense counsel for Kamaruzzaman, and the general pattern of absence during hartals.  The Chairman of the Tribunal noted that some Defense counsel in other cases are now using security services provided by the law enforcement agencies in order to reach the Tribunal on hartal days. The Tribunal stated that the counsel for  Kamaruzzaman should do the same. The judges stated that this absence is a disservice to the Accused. Furthermore the Tribunal said that given the political situation, they would consider applying Section-13 of the International Crimes (Tribunals ) Act 1973 in deciding whether to allow further adjournments. The judges instructed the junior Defense counsel to communicate these messages to his seniors. Additionally, the Tribunal stressed that it would close the Defense’s  Closing Arguments if the Defense continued to be absent on hartal days.

8 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Abdul Alim Prosecution Witness 14

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim – Prosecution witness 14
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Kamaruzzaman – Adjournment

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

Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim
The Prosecution called former Awami League leader Mustafizur Rahman Chowdhury to testify as Prosecution witness 14. The witness testified in support of allegations that Alim worked alongside the Pakistani Army in looting and torching houses at Panchbibi of Joypurhat on 20th April 1971.  The witness  was not at home during the incident, having sought shelter in a relative’s house after he learned that the Accused and other Peace Committee members had warmly welcomed the Pakistani Army in Dinajpur Ghorarghat on the same day. The following day the witness returned home and found that his house had been burned. The witness testified that his family supported the Awami League and had given their support to the Awami League candidate Mafiz Chowdhury, the political rival of Abdul Alim in the 1970 Election. The witness also stated that Alim’s house was later attacked as an aftermath of the incident.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Kamaruzzaman
Kamaruzzaman’s case was listed in the day’s cause list. However, Senior Defense attorney Abdur Razzaq was not present because of the hartal. Tarikul Islam, a junior counsel appearing on behalf of the Accused, informed the Tribunal that the senior counsel remains at home on hartal days and requested adjournment on such days. Although the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings due to the Defense’s absence, it been stressed that hartals should not be used as an excuse for non-attendance.

2 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Hartal, Mujahid Prosecution Witness, Kamaruzzaman Closing Arguments

Today due to security concerns relating to the hartal our researchers were unable to attend proceedings. The following summary is compiled from media sources and conversations with the Defense and Prosecution.

The Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Mohammed Kamaruzzaman

Due to the hartal Tribunal 2 convened only for a brief session of an hour and a half.  The examination-in-chief of the Investigation Officer in the Mujahid case was completed. The witness affirmed his prior testimony regarding his investigation findings that the accused acted as the President of Faridpur District Islami Chatra Shangha (ICS) during the pre-liberation and Liberation War periods. The witness also stated that the Accused later became the President of Islami Chatra Shangha’s Dhaka Unit, subsequently becoming Secretary and then President of East Pakistan ICS. The witness also submitted further documentary evidence before the Tribunal. The witness is scheduled to be cross-examined by the Defense on 7 April 2013.  

Kamaruzzaman’s case was also listed in the day’s daily cause list. The learned Senior Advocate for the defense Barrister Abdur Razzaq previously informed the tribunal that he would present the Defense’s Closing Arguments, and had therefore requested accommodation of his schedule as he his also representing Gholam Azam in Tribunal 1. Today Razzaq was not present due to the Hartal. Although the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings for the day due to his absence, it was stressed that the Tribunal would terminate the Defense’s arguments if counsel continues to be absent. In such an event, the Tribunal stated the Defense would only be entitled to submit written arguments. Unlike Tribunal 1, no cost sanction for non-attendance has been imposed on the senior counsel by Tribunal 2.