Tag Archives: Investigation

25 July 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – ATM Azharul Islam Cognizance of Charges, Mir Qasem Ali Defense Applications

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Pre-trial Proceedings against ATM Azharul Islam
  2. Pre-trial Proceedings against Mir Qasem Ali

Today in pre-trial proceedings against suspect ATM Azharul Islam the Prosecution submitted the Formal Charge before the Tribunal. The Tribunal passed an order taking cognizance of the Formal Charge and numbered the case as ICT BD Case No 5 of 2013. The Tribunal also directed the Prosecution to supply the Defense with all of the documents on which the Prosecution intends to rely, as well as the full list of proposed witnesses by the end of the day. They scheduled 18 August for hearing arguments regarding framing of the charges.

The Tribunal also heard an application filed by Alim’s Defense counsel requesting medically appropriate transportation of the suspect to and from the Tribunal. The Defense submitted that the ATM Azharul Islam suffers from back pain but is transported by prison van. The Prosecution objected saying that if such accommodation was made available to all it would create difficulties for the jail authorities due to the shortage of health friendly vehicles. The Tribunal passed an order directing the jail authority to provide ATM Azharul Islam health friendly vehicle if such vehicle is available to the prison authority.

In the pre-trial proceedings against suspect Mir Qasem Ali the Tribunal heard a Defense application seeking adjournment. The Defense submitted that they need privileged communication with their client Mir Qasem Ali. The Defense also requested legible copies of some Prosecution documents. The Tribunal rejected the request for adjournment but scheduled 28 July and 1 August from 10 am to 1 pm for privileged communication between the Defense and their client. They also directed the Prosecution to supply legible copies of the concerned documents if possible. They then heard the Prosecution’s submissions regarding the proposed charges against Ali.

The Prosecution submitted that until 6 November 1971, Mir Qasem Ali was the secretary of the Islami Chhatra Shangho Chittagong division. Between 6 November and 16 December 1971 they claimed that the Accused was also the general secretary of the Provincial Committee of the Islami Chhatra Shangho. They alleged that Mir Qasem was ‘Al-Badr high command.’ Most of the crimes allegedly committed under the leadership of Qasem Ali of took place at Dalim Hotel. The Prosecution briefly read out the 14 charges proposed against Mir Qasem Ali and stated that they had submitted the investigation report, a book titled ‘Muktijudder Potovumi’ vol- 1 and 2, witness statements, map of the place of occurrence, photos, and CDs in support of the charges. The charges are proposed under sections 3(2)(a), 3(2)(g), and 3(2)(h), indicating allegations of crimes against humanity; attempt, abetment or conspiracy; and complicity. The proposed charges are also framed indicating sections 4(1) and 4(2) as the relevant modes of liability, encompassing joint criminal liability and command responsibility respectively. Among the 14 charges proposed, charges 11 and 12 are for murder while the rest are for confinement, abduction, torture and other inhumane acts.

22 July 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Mobarak Hossain Adjournment, Nizami Cross-Examination of PW 14

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Moboarak Hossain
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami

In the  Mobarak Hossain case the Tribunal was scheduled to hear the cross-examination of Prosecution Witness 6, Abdul Malek, who testified in support of charge 5. However, Hossain’s Defense counsel was absent when the item was called before the bench. After waiting half an hour the Tribunal stated that the Defense’s absence was unsatifisfactory. They passed an order scheduling the 28 July for the examination-in-chief of Prosecution Witness 7, instead of fixing a date for the cross-examination of Prosecution Witness 6, Abdul Malek.

In the Motiur Rahman Nizami case, the Defense completed the cross-examination of Prosecution witness 14, Abdus Salim Latif, who testified in support of charges 7 and 9. Thereafter, Tribunal adjourned the case until 24 July 2013. Continue reading

4 August 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Khan and Mueen Uddin PW 9, Alim cross-examination of Investigation Officer

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

Tribunal 2 recorded the testimony of Prosecution witness 9 in the case against Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, both of whom are being tried in absentia. Both the examination-in-chief and cross-examination were completed on this day. The testimony of Prosecution witness 9 supports Charge 11 against the accused, pertaining to the killing of physician Dr Alim Chowdhury.

The court also made some progress in the case against Abdul Alim as it continued to record the cross-examination of ZM Altafur Rahman, the Investigation Officer for the case. So far, the Defense counsel has directed their line of questioning at highlighting inconsistencies in the investigation procedures followed by the Investigation Officer. The Tribunal adjourned Alim’s case until 5th August, 2013. Continue reading

18 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin Cross-Examination PW-2, Investigation of Syed Mohammad Qaisar, Pre-trial AKM Yusuf

Today a nation-wide hartal was called in response to the conviction and sentencing of Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid. Our coverage of today’s proceedings are therefore gathered from media sources as well as from conversations with the Prosecution and Defense.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, in absentia
  2. Investigation of Syed Mohammad Qaisar
  3. Pre-trial Stage of AKM Yusuf Case

Continuing where they left of on 16 July in the Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin case, the Tribunal heard the cross-examination of Prosecution witness 2, Asif Munir. The witness is the son of Professor Munir Chowdhury, who was killed as part of the Bangladeshi intellectual community in December of 1971. He was cross-examined by the two state appointed defense attorneys: Mr Shukur Khan who is representing Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Ms Tuny who is representing Chowdhury Mueen Uddin.

The Tribunal also directed the Prosecution to submit a progress report on the investigation into suspect Syed Mohammad Qaisar. They scheduled the report for 13 August 2013. Qaisar, an former state Minister in President Ershad’s cabinet, has been in police custody since 21 May 2013 for his alleged involvement in atrocities committed during the 1971 independence war.

In the pre-trial proceedings against AKM Yusuf the Tribunal granted a Defense application for additional time and adjourned the proceedings of the case until 22 July 2013.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin
Cross-Examination of Prosecution Witness 2
The witness Asif Munir previously testified that his father was abducted by Al-Badr men from their house in Central Road, Dhaka on 14 December 1971, just two days prior to Bangladesh’s victory against the Pakistan. He also claimed that his father was targeted because of his vocal opposition to the then Pakistani government’s anti-Bengali stance. He described how his father was abducted from their Central Road house and said that he learned the details of the incident from his mother, brother and a paternal uncle, all of whom witnessed the incident first hand.

Asif Munir that at around 1 p.m. on the day of the incident someone knocked at the door. The witness’s mother saw from the window that a microbus was standing in front of their house. The vehicle was covered with tree branches on its roof and covered with mud.  A few young men got out of the car and came to their gate, where they were met by the witness’ uncle, Mr Shamsher Chowdhury Rusho. The men asked Mr. Shamser  if he was Munir Chowdhury. The uncle said no and went back to the house where he informed the victim Munir that they were seeking him. Munir then went down to the ground floor to meet the men. The witness then said that he was told that his father was forced into the microbus at gunpoint after a heated exchange of words. The witness’s mother and brother, Mishuk Munir, witnessed the incident from the first floor. The witness stated he only four years old at that time.

After independence the family of the witness who saw the incident became sure that Ashrafuzzaman and Mueen Uddin were both directly involved in the abduction upon seeing the photographs of the perpetrators published in a newsreport in the Daily Purbadesh. They recognized the photographs of the two accused as being amongst those youths who abducted the victim. The newspapers alleged that these men were directly involved in the killing of many other Bengali intellectuals.

The witness further stated that he later coincidentally met one Mr Delwar Hossain who was similarly picked up by Al-Badr men in December, 1971. Delwar told him that he heard the name of Munir Chowdhury and saw him amongst those who were detained and tortured in the Al-Badr concentration camp in Mohammadpur Physical Training Institute.

The witness stated that his brother also gave similar description in his statement given to the Investigation Officer of the case, before his early demise in a tragic road accident on 13 August 2011.

18 July 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Hartal Limited Coverage

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Investigation of Zahid Hossain Khokon
  2. Contempt Proceedings – The Economist: Adam Roberts and Others
  3. Investigation of ATM Azharul Islam
  4. Investigation of Mir Qasem Ali
  5. Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowhdury

Today the Tribunal 1 issued a warrant for the arrest of Zahid Hossain Khokon after taking cognizance of the charges brought against him. July 30 is scheduled for the hearing of the charges.

The Tribunal then addressed ongoing contempt proceedings against Adam Roberts as the South Asian Bureau Chief of the Economist. On 6 December 2012, the former chairman of the Tribunal announced that he had been called by a person from the Economist and asked for verification regarding alleged skype conversations with foreign legal expert and activist Ahmed Ziauddin. Subsequently the Tribunal issued an order for the Economist to show cause for their ‘interference with the ongoing trial and violating the privacy of a judge.’ On 25 March 2013, Mustafizur Rahman submitted a written reply on behalf of Economist. Today, 18 July 2013, Tribunal heard arguments from both Roberts’ representative and the Prosecution. They fixed 27 August for passing the Tribunal’s order on the matter.

The Prosecution submitted the Formal Charge against ATM Azharul Islam to the Office of the Registrar and informed the Tribunal. The Tribunal set 24 July for the decision of taking cognizance of charges.

Today was fixed for the charge hearing against Mir Qasem Ali. However, the Defense sought six weeks time for additional preparation. The Tribunal scheduled the hearing for 25 July.

In the Chowdhury case the cross-examination of the Defense Witness 3, Qayyum Reza Chowdhury, was also scheduled. However the Defense requested an adjournment. The Tribunal allowed the prayer and fixed 21 July for cross-examination of the witness.

13 May 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Chowdhury PW 35, AKM Yusuf Bail Hearing

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecuto vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury
  2. Investigation of AKM Yusuf

In the Chowdhury case, the Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief of Prosecution witness 34, Dijoy Krishno Chowdhury. The Defense declined to cross-examine the witness because he did not assert any allegations against Salauddin Qader Chowdhury.

The pre-trial stage of the case against AKM Yusuf continued and the Tribunal heard the Defense’s bail application, fixing tomorrow for passing its order. Continue reading

8 May 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary: Hartal, Azharul Islam Investigation Report and AKM Yusuf Formal Charge

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Investigation of ATM Azharul Islam
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs AKM Yusuf

Today Prosecutor Zead Al Malum submitted the progress report of the investigation into ATM Azharul Islam and sought and additional two months time. The Tribunal granted the prayer and fixed 30 June for the submission of the next progress report or the Formal Charge.

In the Investigation of AKM Yusuf the Prosecution submitted the Formal Charge to the ICT Registrar.