Tag Archives: International crimes courts

9 July 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Chowdhury DW 2

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury

In the Salauddin Qader Chowdhury case, the Prosecution completed cross-examining Defense Witness 2, Nizam Ahmed. Thereafter, Defense sought three weeks time but Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow, 10 July 2013.

Cross-Examination of DW 2
The Prosecution completed their cross-examination of Defense witness 2, Nizam Ahmed. The Prosecution asked about the witness’ personal details, i.e. education, family, and home district. The Prosecution asked the witness whether he knew Fazlul Qader Chowdhury, father of Salauddin Qader Chowdhury. The witness replied that he knew him as a political leader. The Prosecution asked the witness whether he knew that he (Fazlul Qader Chowdhury) was speaker, minster and acting President when then President Ayub Khan was absent.  Continue reading

Weekly Digest, Issue 12: April 7-11

This week Tribunal 1 continued to hear the Defence’s Closing Arguments in the Gholam Azam case. The Defence concluded their coverage of Charges 3 and 4, and requested one additional day to complete their arguments. The Defence however did not attend proceedings during hartal days. In the Salauddin Qader Chowdhury case the Tribunal heard the testimony of Prosecution witness 25. Additionally, the Prosecution submitted the Formal Charges against Mubarak Hossain and both Parties submitted their arguments regarding the impending of indictment of Hossain.

In Tribunal 2 the Defence for Ali Ahsan Mohadded Mujahid began their cross-examination of Prosecution witness 17, the Investigation Officer. The case of Kamaruzzaman was repeatedly scheduled for the Defence’s Closing Arguments. However, the Senior Defence counsel did not attend on hartal days and therefore the case was adjourned until the following week. In the case against Abdul Alim the Prosecution conducted the examination-in-chief of Prosecution witnesses 14 and 15.

It should be noted that hartals were called for the 8, 9, 10, and 11th of April. Due to security concerns our researchers are unable to attend proceedings on hartal days. Therefore our coverage of those days is compiled from media sources as well as discussion with the Defence and Prosecution.

The full report of this week’s proceedings can be read here: Weekly Digest, Issue 12 – April 7-11

9 May 2013: Kamaruzzaman Guilty Verdict

Tribunal 2 of the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh has found Kamaruzzaman guilty on 5 of 7 charges. He was found guilty on charges 1,2,3,4 and 7, acquitted of charges 5 and 6. He has been sentenced to death based on charges 3 and 4. The Tribunal noted that charges 1 and 7 carried a life sentence, while he was sentenced to ten years imprisonment under charge 2. All the charges were for direct involvement and complicity in Crimes Against Humanity.

The full Judgment may be viewed here: Kamaruzzaman Full Judgment

Profile of Mohammad Kamaruzzaman
The Prosecution alleged that Kamaruzzaman, who in 1971 was 19 years of age, established the paramilitary force of Al-Badr in the district of Mymensingh. The force is thought to have committed genocide, killings, rape, looting, arson and enforced deportation throughout the region in collaboration with the Pakistani Army. Kamaruzzaman was the President of Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student branch of Jamaat-e-Islami, during the war. He was appointed as Joint Secretary of the Dhaka City Jamaat-e-Islami in 1981 and served as Publicity Secretary for the party between 1983 and 1991. He became Assistant Secretary General in 1992.

Procedural History
Investigation into Kamaruzzaman’s involvement in the commission of Crimes against Humanity and Genocide during the liberation war began with a formal probe on 21 July 2011. He was arrested in conjunction with the case on 2 August 2011. The Prosecution submitted their proposed Formal Charge on 15 May, and the case was subsequently transferred from ICT-1 to ICT-2. Tribunal 2 took cognizance of the charges on 31 January 2012 and issued the Charge Framing Order indicting Kamaruzzaman on 4 June 2012. The trial began on 2 July 2012. The Prosecution called 18 witnesses in support of their case. The Defense was limited by the Tribunal to 5 witnesses. Witness testimony was completed on 24 March 2013. Closing Arguments were complete on 16 April 2013. The verdict comes just over three weeks after the termination of proceedings.

The Charges: The Charges in red indicate a guilty verdict. See here for the Original Charge Framing Order.

  1. Murder, Torture and Other Inhuman Acts as Crimes Against Humanity and Complicity in Such Crimes: for leading a group of Al-Badr in abducting civilian Badiuzzaman who was tortured and then killed. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act. Sentenced to life imprisonment
  2. Inhuman Acts as Crimes Against Humanity and Complicity in Such Crimes:  Sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for attacking, forcibly shaving and whipping Syed Abdul Hannan, the Principal of Sherpur College. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.
  3. Murder as a Crime Against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime:  Sentenced to death for advising and facilitating members of Al-Badr and Razakars in the massacre and rape of unarmed civilians in Shohagpur. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act. Some media sources have stated that Kamaruzzaman was convicted of Genocide under Charge 3. This is incorrect, the Charge Framing Order alleges murder as a Crime Against Humanity and the Charge was not amended to Genocide.
  4. Murder as a Crime against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime: Sentenced to death for the shooting of Golam Mostafa and Abul Kasem at Serih Bridge, causing the death of Golam Mostafa. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.
  5. Murder as a Crime against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime: Acquitted for the abduction and torture of Md. Liakat Ali and Mujibur Rahman Janu, and their ultimate murder behind the Ahammad Nagar UP office. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.
  6. Murder as a Crime against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime: Acquitted for the abduction of Tunu and Jahangir and subsequent torture and death of Tunu. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.
  7. Murder as a Crime against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime: Sentenced to life imprisonment for accompanying members of Al-Badr on a raid of the house of Tepa Mia in Golpajan Road the ultimate killing of six other unarmed civilians with a bayonet. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.

Legal Conclusions:
The Judgment followed closely the legal conclusions made in Tribunal 2’s Judgments against Kalam Azad Bachu and Qader Molla, as well as Tribunal 1’s decision against Delwar Hossain Sayedee. However, this case also addressed in detail the role of Jamaat-e-Islami in the commission of atrocities during the liberation war. There is some thought that this verdict could be used as the basis for banning the current Jamaat-e-Islami as a political party. A writ is currently pending before the High court requesting that the party be banned.

The full Judgment may be viewed here: Kamaruzzaman Full Judgment

Additionally, we will be publishing an in depth report on the factual and legal conclusions contained in the verdict. Please check this website for updates.

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

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

29 April 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Chowdhury Prosecution Witness 31

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury – Prosecution witness 31

Today the Prosecution conducted the examination-in-chief of the Prosecution witness 31, Shujit Mohazon. The Tribunal then heard the beginning of the Defense’s cross-examination. They then adjourned the case until tomorrow as per the request of the Defense, who stated that they needed additional time to prepare questions regarding the factual issues because the Prosecution had only informed them this morning that the witness would appear today.

Prosecution Witness 31
The Prosecution called Shujit Mohazon, son and brother to two alleged victims, as prosecution witness 31. Shujit Mohazon testified in support of Charge no 6. Charge 6 was alleges that Salauddin Qader Chowdhury committed Genocide under section 3(2)(c )(i) and  3(2)(3 )(ii); and deportation as a Crime Against Humanity under section 3(2)(a) of the ICT Act 1973.

Examination-in Chief
Shujit Mozajon testified that he is the son of Jogesh Chandra Mohazon and Harilata Mohazon. He was 11years old in 1971. He stated that on 13 April1971 he along with his father, Jogesh Chandra and brother, Ranjit Mohazon, were sitting on their veranda when they heard the sounds of crowds yelling the slogan ‘Pakistan Zindabad.’ He testified that the Pakistani army and some Bengalis arrived and entered their house. Being afraid, Shujit said that he hid himself next to the Gola (a barrel for storing rice) in their kitchen. From his hidden position he saw his father and brother be taken to the bank of Khitish Chandra’s pond. Continue reading

28 April 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Nizami Cross-Examination of PW 5

The Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami – Cross Examination of PW 5

Today the Defense in the Nizami case concluded their cross-examination of Prosecution witness 5, Nazim Uddin Khattab. The Tribunal then adjourned the case  until 30 April 2013.

Nazim Uddin Khattab testified in support of Charge no 4 which alleges that Motiur Rahman Nizami conspired to commit crimes under section 3(2)(g) of the Act and was complicit in murder, rape, looting and destruction of property in the village of Karajma. The Charges are framed as Crimes Against Humanity under section 3(2)(h), section 3(2)(g) and 3(2)(a) read with section 4(1) and section 4(2) of the ICT Act 1973.

Cross-examination
During the examination-in-chief, Nazim Uddin Khattab had testified that he received training as a freedome fighter for the Liberation War and regarding the UPR camp. Defense Counsel Mizanul Islam asked him who was in charge of the camp. Khattab replied Major Ibrahim and Habildar Ali Akbar were responsible. The Defense suggested that UPR was established at the request of Abu Sayed after the formation of the Razakar and Al-Badr forces, as well as the Peace Committee. Khattab denied the suggestion and testified that before the camp was set up in the area before the formation of the Razakar and Al-Badr forces or the Peace Committee. The Defense asked how long after the UPR camp was established the Peace Committee, Razakar f and Al-Badr forces were formed. Khattab was unable to provide a timeline. The Defense again asked him when he first heard about the Peace Committee . Khattab replied that he first heard about the three groups before 19 April 1971. Previously during the Proesecuiton’s examination-in-chief Khattab had claimed that the Union Board Chairman Khoda Box was Chairman of the Peace Committee and a leader of Muslim League. The Defense suggested that Major Ibrahim arrested Khoda Box. Khattab denied the suggestion.

During the examination-in-chief Khattab had also testified regarding an individual named Rofikun Nabi Bublu, .stating that he had gone into hiding after the Liberation War. In response to the Defense’s questions he said that he did not know whether Rofikun’s father, Shiraj, was a doctor but noted that his title was doctor. Khattab denied the Defense’s suggestion that Shiraj practiced in Bera as a doctor. Continue reading