Tag Archives: International Crimes Tribunals

23 April 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Chowdhury Cross-Examination of PW 28

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

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs SalauddinQader Chowdhury: Cross Examination of PW 28, Accused Present
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs MobarakHossain: Charge Framing Order, Accused Present

Today Defense counsel for Salauddin Qader Chowdhury concluded the cross-examinination of Prosecution witness 28, Poritosh Kumar Palit.

The Tribunal also issued the official Charge Framing Order against Mobarak Hossain. They rejected the Defense’s request for acquittal and also rejected an application for bail. Mubarak Hossain submitted a plea of not guilty. The Tribunal scheduled the opening of the trial for 16 May 2013. Additionally the court requested that the Prosecution and Defense submit their proposed witness lists on 16 May as well.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury: Cross-examination of Prosecution Prosecution witness 28, Poritosh Kumar Palit, was cross-examined by the Defense. His examination in-chief took place on the 22 April.

The Defense began by asking whether Poritosh or his brothers had filed a case before or after the Liberation War regarding the alleged killing of his father. Poritosh replied that he did not know if anyone he or anyone else had filed such a case at the Rawzan Police Station. He testified that the  Rawzan Police Station is about half a kilometer from his house. He could not say whether his father visited the Police Station before he was killed. He testified that after 25 March 1971 the Pakistani Army went to Rawzan but could not give an exact date.

The Defense then asked him questions about his job as a teacher at RABM high school. He testified that the head master of his school was Abdur Rashid. He stated that when he left the school in 1971  he did not submit the resignation letter or application for leave. He claimed that there were no students from Palit Para or Biswash Para in his school. He testified that his house was about 10 kilometers from the school. He stated that while he was a teacher he also worked as the house tutor for Abul Kashem Chowdhury’s son, Abu Bakar. He acknowledged that Abu Bakar is still living. He stated that he knew the neighbors and that he stayed ab Abul Kashem Chowdhury’s house for over a year. He testified that he did not inform anyone when he left Abul Kashem’s house in 1971.

The Defense asked Poritosh to describe the trip between the scene of the killing and where his family was hiding. He testified that along the road there were shops on both sides of the road, and the houses of wealthy and important people. He admitted that he did not attempt to tell anyone about the killing on his way back. However, he claimed that others were aware of the incident, though he could not say how people heard about it. Continue reading

15 April 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Conclusion of Gholam Azam Defense Closing Arguments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami

On April 15, 2013 the Defense for Gholam Azam concluded their Closing Arguments. Imran Siddiq presented the Defense’s arguments based on complicity. Senior Defense counsel Abdur Razzaq presented arguments on the Doctrine of Command Responsibility. The Defense then summarized the Charges against Gholam Azam before the Tribunal. After the completion of the Defense’s case the Tribunal asked the Prosecution to submit their reply. The Prosecution requested one day for preparation of their response. The Tribunal accepted the request and adjourned the proceedings until 17 April 2013.

After the lunch break the Tribunal turned to the Nizami case. Prosecutor Mir Iqbal informed the Tribunal that Prosecution witness 4 had been present in the morning but was now feeling sick and could not testify. The Tribunal therefore adjourned the proceedings until tomorrow, 16 April 2013.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam

Count 13 Charge No 4
The Defense submitted that the Prosecution failed to prove that Gholam Azam’s press briefing substantially contributed to the commission of Genocide or Crimes Against Humanity. The Prosecution has failed to adduce evidence in the form of witnesses or documents to establish that identified members of the Pakistan Army and/or its auxiliary forces had heard or read Gholam Azam’s statement prior to committing Genocide or Crimes Against Humanity. The Defense referred to the testimony of the Investigation Officer and submitted that during cross-examination the witness admitted that he not say whether any person had committed atrocities upon hearing or reading Gholam Azam’s statements and speeches.

Count 14, Charge 4
The Prosecution has based Count 14 of Charge 4 on Exhibits 48 and 122  which quote Gholam Azam as saying the damage that was caused by the separatists cannot be remedied merely by chanting slogans. He also alleged that there were those who were colluding with India and involved in arson, looting and violence throughout the country because they wanted an independent East Pakistan. Gholam Azam alleged that in order to assist the separatists and the banned Awami League, India was smuggling infiltrators and arms into the country. Gholam Azam also praised the Pakistani Army for their role in preserving the unity of Pakistan.

The Defense argued that no where in these reports is there proof that Gholam Azam expressed support for the criminal activities of the Pakistani army, nor is there any proof that he urged the members of Jamaat or others to engage in repressive and criminal activities. The Defense further submitted that Gholam Azam’s statement that chanting of slogans would not be enough to redress the damage caused by the separatists does not amount to urging members of Jamaat to commit Genocide or Crimes Against Humanity as alleged in the Charge Framing Order. Continue reading