Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:
- Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam: Defense Closing Arguments
Today the Defense continued their Closing Arguments, addressing Charge 3 for incitement and Charge 4 for complicity.
After the lunch break Senior Defense Counsel Abdur Razzak requested an additional working day in order to complete the Defense’s summing up. By mentioning “working day,” the Defense implied a non-hartal day. This week hartals have been called for Monday through Thursday. The Defense does not attend the Tribunal during hartal days.
Incitement to Commit Genocide
The Defense addressed each count of incitement contained within Charge 3. First, the Defense argued that none of Gholam Azam’s statements were designed to instigate or prompt others to attack or destroy members of any national, religious, ethnic or racial group. Considering the context of censorship surrounding news reports, the testimony of both Prosecution and Defense witnesses and submitted Exhibits, it is clear that none of Gholam Azam’s statements, when interpreted according to their plain and ordinary meaning, were directed against members of the Hindu community, the Bengali civilian population or supporters of the Awami League. Secondly, the Defense argued that the Charge Framing Order does not adequately specify how Gholam Azam prompted, provoked or instigated criminal action, nor has the Prosecution brought any evidence on record to show that an identified perpetrator was so instigated, prompted or provoked. Thirdly, the Prosecution has made no attempt to establish that Gholam Azam had the required intention to destroy Hindus, members of the Awami League or the Bengali civilian population. Similarly, the Prosecution failed to prove that through his statements Gholam Azam intended to create genocidal intent amongst members his audience. Therefore the Defense stated that the Prosecution did not prove essential elements of the alleged crime.