Tag Archives: incitement

7 April 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary, Gholam Azam Defense Closing Arguments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. 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.

Charge 3:
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.

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4 April 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Gholam Azam Defense Closing Arguments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam: Defense Closing Arguments

Today Defense counsel Imran Siddiq continued presenting the Defense’s Closing Arguments. He added some additional arguments regarding the impact of censorship on the reliability of documentary evidence and then addressed Charge 3 which is for Incitement to commit crimes under section 3(2) of the ICT act of 1973.

The Defense added some points to the arguments they submitted regarding censorship on 3 April. Imran submitted that a conviction cannot be solely based on newspaper reports where the newspaper reports have not been collaborated. The Defense submitted that it is evident from Exhibit-EK that the Chief Martial Law Administrator imposed restrictions on newspapers through the Martial Law Regulation no 77, prohibiting printing or publishing any news which is calculated to prejudicially affect the integrity or solidarity of Pakistan. The Defense argued that Prosecution Exhibit 3, a news report published in the daily Shangram 19 June 1971, shows that Gholam Azam called for the withdrawal of censorship restrictions. Imran also noted that Defense witness 1 testified that during 1971 the Martial Law Authority imposed censorship on mass media by official notification. The Defense pointed to pages 62 and 84 of the book Muktijuddho: Bibhinno Dristikon Theke, by Sadruddin, stated that due to censorship news received from East Pakistan was very limited and unreliable. The Defense further noted that the book Ami Mujib Bolsi, by Krtittibas Ojha, states that censorship was imposed on newspapers, radio and television were not allowed to publish without prior permission regarding the contents from the relevant authority. Continue reading

3 April 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Gholam Azam Defense Closing Arguments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam – Defense Application and Closing Arguments

Today Defense counsel for Gholam Azam filed an application seeking the recall of yesterday’s order, citing the interest of justice. Yesterday, 2 April 2013, the Tribunal passed an order directing the Defense to conclude their Closing Arguments by 4 April 2013. The Defense argued that compelling them to conclude their Closing Arguments would seriously prejudice the Accused because they would be unable to adequately present the case.

The Defense requested an additional four days instead of the two currently allotted. Senior Defense counsel stated that he cannot make himself available on hartal days. He noted that the other courts of the country, from the magistrate level to the Supreme Court, do not convene on hartal days. Razzaq further stated that though he is supporter of a political party, he appears before the Tribunal solely as an advocate and has refrained from making any political statements over the last 3-4 years.

After making his submissions Tribunal 2 granted Razzaq permission to leave in order to appear before Tribunal 2.

Prosecutor Sultan Mahmud Simon opposed the prayer and submitted that the application should be rejected summarily.

Defense Closing Arguments
Defense counsel Imran Siddiq continued the submission of Closing Arguments on behalf of Gholam Azam. He argued regarding the legal requirements of the charge of conspiracy, planning and incitement.

Conspiracy to commit crimes against humanity
Imran Siddiq submitted that section 3(2)(a) of the ICT Act of 1973 does not describe the elements of the crime which the Prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt. Given the silence of the Statute on this matter, it is therefore necessary to look to Customary International Law in order to assess whether the Prosecution has sufficiently proved its case.

Imran stated that in order to convict the Accused of conspiracy to commit Crimes Against Humanity, the Prosecution must prove that i) there was an attack ii) the attack was widespread or systematic iii) the attack was directed against a civilian population iv) the attack was committed on national, political, ethical, racial or religious grounds and v) Gholam Azam acted with the knowledge of the attack. He cited to the ICTR case of Ntagerura (Trial Chamber), 25 February 2004, para 698.

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25 Feb 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Gholam Azam Closing Arguments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam: Prosecution Closing Arguments (Accused Not Present)
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Mubarak Hossain (Accused Not Present)

In the Gholam Azam case the Tribunal heard the Prosecution’s closing arguments for the 6th consecutive day. Prosecutor Sultan Mahmud Simon submitted arguments in support of Charge 3 (incitement) from counts 26 to 28 and Charge 4 (complicity) for counts 1 through 13. Thereafter, Tribunal adjourned the proceedings until February 26, 2013.

The Prosecution submitted the Formal Charges against Mubarak Hossain but the matter was not argued or presented in open court. Continue reading

20 Feb 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Gholam Azam Closing Arguments, Nizami Cross-Examination of PW 2

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs Gholam Azam: Applications, Closing Arguments (Accused Not Present)
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs Motiur Rahman Nizami (Accused Present)

In the Gholam Azam case the Defense submitted three applications. In the first they requested permission for the appearance of foreign expert witnesses General Sir Jack Deverell and Professor William Schabas, either in person or via video link. Alternatively the Defense requested that the Tribunal accept their expert reports into evidence under Rule 46(A) of the Rules of Procedure for the ICT. The Defense additionally filed another application for bail, stating that Gholam Azam is over 90 years old and is in poor physical condition. They claim that he is not receiving proper treatment in the prison cell of the hospital. Finally, the Defense submitted an application requesting permission to inspect the record of orders. The Defense does not receive all orders passed by the Tribunal automatically and stated that they needed to review the record in order to make sure that they had requested the necessary orders. The Tribunal then heard the Prosecution’s closing arguments for the 4th day. The Prosecution focused on Charges 2, and 3.

In the Nizami case the Tribunal heard an application filed by the Prosecution requesting permission to submit additional documents relating to Charge 16 and other charges. The Defense objected that there is no scope to augment reports after investigation, since Tribunal took cognizance base on complete investigation report. The Defense also stated that they did not receive the investigation reports. Thereafter, Defense Counsel Mizanul Islam cross-examined PW-2, Zahir Uddin Jalal alias Bichchu Jalal. The Tribunal then adjourned the proceeding of Nizami case until March 6, 2013.

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