Tag Archives: International Criminal Tribunal

5 November 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary –Motiur Rahman Nizami, Closing Statements; Abdus Sobhan, Pre-Trial Submissions

Despite a 60-hour nationwide Hartal that kept ICT-2 out of session today, ICT-1 proceeded to hear matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdus Sobhan

In the case against Abdus Sobhan, today was set for defense hearing on charge matter. However, the Defense sought adjournment for a week. The Tribunal granted the motion and adjourned the proceedings of the case until 18 November 2013.

In the case against Motiur Rahman Nizami, the Prosecution continued submissions for the third day. The Prosecution made pre-trial submissions on charge 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15 and 16. Thereafter, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow, 6 November 2013.

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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.

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

8 April 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Chowdhury Examination-in-Chief of PW 25 and 26

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury

The Tribunal heard the Prosecution’s examination-in-chief of Prosecution witness 25, Abu Taher Chowdhury and Prosecution witness 26, Md Solaiman. After recording their testimony the Tribunal adjourned proceedings in the case until tomorrow, 9 April 2013.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury
Examination-in-Chief of Prosecution Witness 25
The Tribunal first heard testimony from Prosecution witness 25, Abu Taher Chowdhury, a former freedom fighter. He testified that one morning at the end of July 1971 he learned that Saleh Uddin, house tutor of Abdul Motaleb Chowdhury, had been taken by Shamsu, a UP chairman of the nearby village, the Pakistani army and others. The witness stated that as a freedom fighter he tried to find out Saleh Uddin’s whereabouts and learned that Saleh Uddin had been taken to Fazlul Qader Chowdhury’s home at Goods Hill. Abu Taher also testified that he had planned to rescue Saleh Uddin, but that the plan was not practically possible. Therefore he went to the leaders of the Muslim League in his village, Badsha Miah Saudagar and Nurul Huda Qaderi, and asked them to help rescue Saleh Uddin. He testified that in the next day Badsha Miah Saudagar and Nurul Huda Qaderi went to Goods Hill at about 10 or 11 am and were able to bring him back. The witness testified that after Saleh Uddin returned he told them that Salauddin Qader Chowdhury and others beat him because he would not reveal the whereabouts of freedom fighters. Abu Taher testified that Saleh Uddin removed his Panjabi (long loose shirt) to show the injuries he had sustained. The witness stated that he was interviewed by the Investigating Officer on 1 July 2011. He identified Salauddin Qader Chowdhury in the dock.

Examination-in-Chief of Prosecution Witness 26
Prosecution witness 26, Md Solaiman, testified that Saleh Uddin had been staying at the house of Abdul Motaleb Chowdhury as a house tutor. Solaiman stated that at the end of July 1971 he learned that Saleh Uddin had been taken to Goods Hill by Shamsu, the Pakistani Army, and some Razakars. He testified that Harun, a student of Saleh Uddin, found out about his teacher’s abduction and went to Goods Hill along with Badsha Miah Saudagar and Shamsul Huda Maizha Miah. The witness said they were able to bring back Saleh Uddin from Goods Hill. Solaiman testified that after Saleh Uddin’s return, Solaiman and others went to visit Saleh Uddin and that he stated in front of everyone present that he had been persecuted based on the decision of Fazlul Qader Chowdhury and Salauddin Qader Chowdhury. Solaiman testified that he had been interviewed by the Investigating Officer on 1 July 2011. He identified Salauddin Qader Chowdhury in the dock.

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