Tag Archives: Investigating Officer

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

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammed Kamaruzzaman: Final Defense Closing Arguments

The Defense for Muhammad Kamaruzzaman presented the last of their Closing Arguments for the case. Defense counsel Ehsan Siddique began the submission on behalf of the Accused, Kamaruzzaman. Senior Defense counsel Abdur Razzaq appeared and informed the Tribunal that he would resume his portion of the submission after the lunch break. The Defense highlighted five weaknesses of the Prosecution’s case: 

  •  Evidentiary weakness of Charges 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.
  • Contradictory witness testimony 
  • Inconsistencies between courtroom witness testimony and original statements to the Investigating Officer
  • Credibility issues
  • Failure to Fulfill Requirements of Doctrine of Command Responsibility

Defense counsel Ehsan began his submission with arguments on further legal points involved in Charge-2. He then addressed inconsistencies and contradictions in the witness testimony and documentary evidence submitted in support of Charges-3, 5, 6, and 7.

After lunch, Abdur Razzaq made some final closing remarks regarding Charge 2 before turning to Charge 4.  He identified and outlined the substantial contradictions between the testimonies of the relevant witnesses. The Defense argued that the Prosecution has primarily relied on oral evidence and did not produce a lot of documentary evidence. Razzaq stated that given numerous inconsistencies and contradictions, the testimony of the Prosecution witnesses leaves too much doubt for a conviction to be justified. The Defense claimed that Kamaruzzaman has been targeted solely because of his political affiliations.

Definition of “Other Inhumane Acts” as Crimes Against Humanity
Defense counsel Ehsan Siddique claimed that the charge of complicity in Charge-2 has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt. He submitted that the term “other inhumane acts” is not a catch-all category and cannot be used to include any type of action not otherwise enumerated within the statute. He cited to the ICTR Trial Chamber’s decision in The Prosecutor v Clement Kayishema and Obed Ruzindana, para 583, states that the category should not be utilized by the Prosecution as an all-encompassing, “catch-all” term.

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2 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Hartal, Mujahid Prosecution Witness, Kamaruzzaman Closing Arguments

Today due to security concerns relating to the hartal our researchers were unable to attend proceedings. The following summary is compiled from media sources and conversations with the Defense and Prosecution.

The Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Mohammed Kamaruzzaman

Due to the hartal Tribunal 2 convened only for a brief session of an hour and a half.  The examination-in-chief of the Investigation Officer in the Mujahid case was completed. The witness affirmed his prior testimony regarding his investigation findings that the accused acted as the President of Faridpur District Islami Chatra Shangha (ICS) during the pre-liberation and Liberation War periods. The witness also stated that the Accused later became the President of Islami Chatra Shangha’s Dhaka Unit, subsequently becoming Secretary and then President of East Pakistan ICS. The witness also submitted further documentary evidence before the Tribunal. The witness is scheduled to be cross-examined by the Defense on 7 April 2013.  

Kamaruzzaman’s case was also listed in the day’s daily cause list. The learned Senior Advocate for the defense Barrister Abdur Razzaq previously informed the tribunal that he would present the Defense’s Closing Arguments, and had therefore requested accommodation of his schedule as he his also representing Gholam Azam in Tribunal 1. Today Razzaq was not present due to the Hartal. Although the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings for the day due to his absence, it was stressed that the Tribunal would terminate the Defense’s arguments if counsel continues to be absent. In such an event, the Tribunal stated the Defense would only be entitled to submit written arguments. Unlike Tribunal 1, no cost sanction for non-attendance has been imposed on the senior counsel by Tribunal 2. 

13 March 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

The Defense continued closing arguments for the 3rd day. They submitted their arguments regarding the testimony of Prosecution witnesses 1, 2 and 3.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam
At the beginning of the Tribunal’s proceedings Defense counsel Mizanul Islam submitted that on March 11, 2013 he mistakenly claimed that under the Collaborators Act 1972 a member of Razakar, Al-Badr, Al-Shams and Peace Committee could be punished based on the membership alone. He corrected himself, stating that under the Collaborators Act 1972 it was crime to fight against freedom fighters. He confirmed that Prosecution relied on Exhibit-519 which he discussed before.

Prosecution Witness 1
Regarding Exhibit-FD, the Defense argued that the author, Prosecution witness 1, had made no comment regarding the list of Peace Committee members mentioned on page no 200. He submitted that the witness did not mention any source or reference for this information. He drew the Tribunal’s attention to the research works of M.A Hasan and Muntasir Mamun (Prosecution witness 1), in which different names were given for the post of Secretary of Peace Committee. The Defense raised doubts about the reliability of the authors’ research. Additionally they argued that there was no gazette notification, circular or order from the government or from any forces of the government which authorized or declared Peace Committee as an auxiliary force. Mizanul Islam submitted that the first duty of the Prosecution was to prove that the Peace Committee was an armed force before considering them as auxiliary force.

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10 March 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’s proceedings began with a Defense application for a week long adjournment. Senior Defense counsel, Mizanul Islam, cited the death of his mother in-law and travel schedule as reason, stating that he was not prepared to begin Defense Closing Arguments. The Tribunal rejected the application and required that Defense Counsel Mizanul Islam begin the summing up. The Defense began their Closing Arguments and continued until 11:45am. At that time they again sought adjournment and Tribunal allowed the prayer, adjourning the case until tomorrow, 11 March 2013.

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