Tag Archives: inconsistent testimony

16 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Kamaruzzaman Final Closing Arguments, Mujahid Cross-Examination of PW 17

The publication of this post was delayed as we were waiting to obtain certain documents from the Prosecution. Please excuse the inconvenience.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecution vs. Muhammad Kamaruzzaman: Defense application and Conclusion of Prosecution Closing Arguments, Accused Present 
  2. Chief Prosecution vs. Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid: Defense Application and Cross-Examination of Investigation Officer

The Tribunal heard the last of the Prosecution’s Closing Arguments in the Kamaruzzaman  case. Prosecutor Tureen Afroz addressed remaining legal issues including the value of hearsay evidence, inconsistencies and the old evidence rule, and the doctrine of Superior Responsibility under Section 4(2). Two other Prosecutors made additional closing remarks before the Tribunal allowed the Defense to present a brief rebuttal. The case was then closed and the Tribunal officially took it into consideration awaiting verdict.

In the Mujahid case the Tribunal heard a Prosecution application seeking limitation of the number of Defense witnesses allowed. The Defense previously submitted a list of 1500 names listed as possible defense witnesses. After Disposing of the Application and limiting the Defense to three witnesses, the Tribunal then returned to the Defense’s cross-examination of Prosecution witness 17, the Investigation Officer.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Kamaruzzaman
Defense Application for Opportunity to Make Statement
At the beginning of the day’s proceedings, the defense submitted an application on behalf of the accused under Section 17(1) and (2) of the ICT Act seeking permission for the Accused to make a statement before the Tribunal. Section 17(1) provides that the Accused “shall have the right to give any explanation relevant to the charge mage against him.” Section 17(2) allows the Accused to conduct his own Defense or to have the assistance of counsel.

The Prosecution opposed the application and stated that such a statement could only be allowed while the Tribunal is hearing witnesses. However, Closing Arguments are taking place and there is no such right at this stage of proceedings.

The Judges quickly rejected the application and agreed with the Prosecution’s interpretation of the Statute.  Continue reading

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

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Kamaruzzaman: Defense Closing Arguments

The day’s proceeding began with a Defense application for permission to meet with the Accused at the Kashimpur Jail. The Tribunal granted the application and allocated two hours (10:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.) on Sunday 7 April 2013 as the tentative date for two members of the Defense counsel to meet with Kamaruzzaman.

Following the defense application, senior Defense counsel for Kamaruzzaman, Abdur Razzaq, continued with the Closing Arguments on the legal issues pertaining to the charge of complicity in the commission of Crimes Against Humanity. The Defense also discussed the evidentiary aspects of Charge 3, which alleges Kamaruzzaman’s involvement the massacre and rape committed at Shohagpur. Razzaq also submitted arguments relating to Charge 2, which alleges the inhuman treatment of pro-liberation intellectual Syed Abdul Hannan. The Defense identified and outlined the substantial contradictions between the testimonies of the relevant witnesses and between their testimony and prior statements to the Investigating Officer.

Complicity in Commission of Crimes Against Humanity
The counsel cited the ICTY Trial Chamber case of Tadic (more specifically paragraph 688 and 689 of the judgment) to claim that the crime of complicity requires intent, defined as awareness of the act coupled with a conscious decision to participate by planning, instigating, ordering, committing, or otherwise aiding and abetting in the commission of a crime. Therefore the Prosecution must prove that the Accused participated in a way that contributed to the commission of the illegal act. The counsel further referred to the I.L.C. Draft Code’s legal findings in the Nuremberg cases whereby it concluded that an Accused may be found culpable if it is proved that he “intentionally commits such a crime” or, if he “knowingly aids, abets or otherwise assists, directly and substantially, in the commission of such a crime.”

The Defense argued no evidence has been given to show that Kamaruzzaman knowingly acted in a way that substantially and directly contributed to the commission of a crime. The Prosecution has failed to prove that Kamaruzzaman had the requisite intent of awareness or knowledge that crimes would be committed or were planned. Nothing has been presented to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he assisted, instigated, facilitated, or aided and abetted the commission of the alleged offences. Continue reading