Tag Archives: Jamaat

21 May 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Abdul Alim PW 21

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim – PW 21
  2. Contempt Proceedings Against Selim Uddin and Others

Today the Tribunal heard the Prosecution’s examination-in-chief of Prosecution witness in the case of Abdul Alim. After the Prosecution completed their questioning the Defense requested adjournment for the day, seeking time to prepare his cross-examination. The Tribunal agreed and scheduled the cross-examination for the following day.

The Tribunal also adjourned the contempt proceedings against Jamaat-e-Islam leaders Selim Uddin, Hamidur Rahman Azad and Rafiqul Islam Khan after hearing a petition for additional time. It may be mentioned that the contempt proceedings were initiated by the Tribunal against the Jamaat-trio in February, following comments regarding the Tribunal made at a public engagement the day before the verdict in Qader Molla was issued. Selim Uddin is the only one of the three who has been produced before the court after being arrested. He has filed a separate written explanation through his lawyer. The other two have not been detained by the police, despite the Tribunal having issued an arrest warrant for them.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim
Mr Abdul Hamid Sakidar provided circumstantial evidence as Prosecution witness 21 in the case against Abdul Alim. During examination-in-chief by the Prosecution the witness testified that he was a resident of Sakidarpara during the war in 1971 and that he was 15 or 16 years old at the time. He testified that Abdul Alim was one of the key persons in the formation of the Peace Committee in the Jaipurhat area and acted as its chairman. Sakidar asserted that the Pakistan army killed many people and also burned villages in his area during the war. He stated that local collaborators were also part of these raids.

The witness claimed stated that Alim, along with Muslim League members and Jamaat activists, occupied the Shaon Lal Bazla Godighar (office) in his area. He stated that the Razakar forces were later trained in this godighar and that the Pakistani Army also located its camp there. The witness incriminated the accused by stating that the Pakistani army and the Razakars used to kill people at the instruction of Alim. Sakidar stated that eleven people from his locality were apprehended by the Pakistani Army and the Razakars, and that they were then taken to the north side of Baroghati Pond near Sakidarpara. These eleven people, whose faces were painted black, were then shot to death at Mr Alim’s instruction. Six of the dead bodies were buried under a mango tree thereby and five others were buried under a lychee tree at the south end of the pond.

The witness claimed stated that about after 4 to 5 months after Bangladesh declared its victory over Pakistan about 150 skeletons were recovered from that very pond.

The witness then positively identified the accused in the courtroom.

18 April 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Nizami Cross-Examination of PW 4

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami: Cross-Examination of Prosecution witness 4

Today the Defense concluded the cross-examining of Prosecution witness 4, Habibur Rahman Habib. The Tribunal then adjourned the case until 25 April 2013.  The Tribunal had scheduled the examination-in-chief of Prosecution witness 27 in the Salauddin Qader Chowdhury case for today. However, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings until 21 April 2013.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Nizami
Cross-Examination of PW 4
Today the Tribunal heard the cross-examination of Prosecution witness 4, former freedom fighter Habibur Rahman Habib.

Habib testified that he and about 15 or 16 members of his freedom fighter group were present when a group of Razakars were captured in September. He stated that he did not know what happened to the detained Razakars after they were handed over to their unit commander. He could not remember any of the Razakars names, except for one Shorab and Shitu. The witness claimed that 17 or 18 Razakars were detained in total from Dublia in Chortarapur Union. Habib said that their unit commander Shahid Selim was present when these Razakars were detained. He did not see any of the Razakars after the Liberation War because they were killed after being detained. He acknowledged that during the Liberation War he did not see Motiur Rahman Nizami. The witness claimed that he first saw Nizami at Nogorbari Hat when he was elected as a Member of Parliament after the war. Habib said that he did not talk with Motiur Rahman Nizami before or after the Liberation War or when Nizami was minister.

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Weekly Digest Issue 9: March 17-21

We apologize for the delay in publishing this week’s digest.

Hartals again interrupted our coverage of the ICT trials. Sunday, 17 March 2013, was a national holiday, and the Tribunal was in recess. Hartals (strikes) were called by the opposition party coalition on Monday and Tuesday, and due to security concerns our researchers were unable to attend. Therefore, our summaries for those days are drawn from media sources as well as conversations with the Defense and Prosecution. On Thursday, both Tribunal 1 and Tribunal 2 adjourned early, after it was announced that the President of Bangladesh had passed away on Wednesday.

Tribunal 1
In Tribunal 1, the Defense and the Prosecution in the Gholam Azam case presented in-depth arguments regarding the applicability of the Doctrine of Command Responsibility to civilians. In the Salauddin Qader Chowdhury case, the Defense cross-examined Prosecution witness 21, who began providing testimony the previous week. The Defense for Sayedee presented two additional applications: one for bail, and the other or certified copies of documents from two criminal cases in the district court system. The Tribunal also heard the examination of Prosecution witness 3 in the Nizami case. Finally, citing the growing insecurity in Dhaka, Defense counsel for Salauddin Qader Chowdhury applied for police escort to the Tribunal on hartal days.

Tribunal 2
Tribunal 2 also experienced significant delays due to hartals, absence of counsel, and illness of witnesses. The court heard the Defense’s cross-examination of Prosecution witness 13 in the Abdul Alim case and granted an extension for the production of a Defense witness in the Kamaruzzaman case. Additionally, the Tribunal dealt with ongoing contempt proceedings against Jamaat leaders.

Please read the full report here: Weekly Digest, Issue 9 – March 17-21

8 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Abdul Alim Prosecution Witness 14

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim – Prosecution witness 14
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Kamaruzzaman – Adjournment

Due to a nation-wide hartal our researchers were unable to attend proceedings today. The following summary is compiled from media sources as well as conversations with the Defense and Prosecution.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim
The Prosecution called former Awami League leader Mustafizur Rahman Chowdhury to testify as Prosecution witness 14. The witness testified in support of allegations that Alim worked alongside the Pakistani Army in looting and torching houses at Panchbibi of Joypurhat on 20th April 1971.  The witness  was not at home during the incident, having sought shelter in a relative’s house after he learned that the Accused and other Peace Committee members had warmly welcomed the Pakistani Army in Dinajpur Ghorarghat on the same day. The following day the witness returned home and found that his house had been burned. The witness testified that his family supported the Awami League and had given their support to the Awami League candidate Mafiz Chowdhury, the political rival of Abdul Alim in the 1970 Election. The witness also stated that Alim’s house was later attacked as an aftermath of the incident.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Kamaruzzaman
Kamaruzzaman’s case was listed in the day’s cause list. However, Senior Defense attorney Abdur Razzaq was not present because of the hartal. Tarikul Islam, a junior counsel appearing on behalf of the Accused, informed the Tribunal that the senior counsel remains at home on hartal days and requested adjournment on such days. Although the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings due to the Defense’s absence, it been stressed that hartals should not be used as an excuse for non-attendance.

21 March 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Contempt Proceedings against Jamaat Leaders, Adjournment for Kamaruzzaman

21 March 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Contempt Proceedings vs. Selim Uddin and Other Jamaat Leaders
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammad Kamaruzzaman

Prosecutor Mohammad Ali started the day’s submission expressing his deep sadness at the death of President Zillur Rahman, the Honorable President of Bangladesh. Stating that the country mourns at his departure, the prosecutor proposed that the court observes two minutes of silence in his honor. In response, the judges expressed their sadness and commented that all present in the courtroom mourn with the nation. However, they said that as an independent entity of the judiciary, it is not possible for them to observe the silence without some steps or instruction coming from the Honorable Chief Justice.

The court then called the contempt proceedings against Mr Selim Uddin and other Jamaat party leaders. Defense counsel for the politicians had filed applications Selim Uddin, Hamidur Rahman Azad MP and Rafiqul Islam requesting the court to dispense of the requirement that they appear in person. The counsel submitted that all of them have highest regards for the court and is not being able to comply with the court’s order solely by reason of security issues. The court rejected the applications stating that the two Jamaat leaders who have not yet appeared are now fugitives and such submission will not dispense with the requirement of personal appearance. The Tribunal fixed the next hearing for 10 April 2013. 

Finally, the defense sought time to produce defense witness in Kamaruzzaman’s case claiming that the witness could not appear due to illness. The court fixed Sunday 24 March 2013 as the next date for hearing the witness. The Tribunal stated that if the Defense again fails to produce their witness they will begin hearing closing arguments.

10 March 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Contempt Proceedings against Jamaat leader, MK Anwar; Kamaruzzaman Examnation of DW 1 and 2

10 March 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Contempt Proceedings against Jamaat leader Selim Uddin (Present), Daily Shongram (warning made to present journalist), and MK Anwar (Not Present),
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid : Order of three applications and examination of prosecution witnesses  (Accused Not Present)
  3. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammad Kamaruzzaman: Cross-Examination of Defense witness 1, Direct and Cross-Examination of Cross-Examination Defense Witness 2 (Accused Present)
  4. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim : Adjourned Due to Illness of Prosecution Witness

Today the Tribunal dealt with ongoing contempt proceedings against Jamaat leaders, MK the Daily Shongram, and MK Anwar. In the Mujahid case the Tribunal disposed of three Defense applications and then heard the direct examination of Prosecution witnesses 14, 15 and 16, all of whom are expert witnesses regarding documentary and historical evidence. In the Kamaruzzaman case the Tribunal heard the cross-examination of Defense witness 1, and both direct and cross-examination of Defense witness 2. Finally, in the case of Abdul Alim the Tribunal allowed an adjournment due to the illness of the Prosecution witness scheduled to testify.

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6 March 2013: ICT 2 Daily Summary – Contempt Proceedings Against Jamaat Leaders, Kamaruzzaman DW 1

6 March 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Contempt, Kamaruzzaman Examination of DW 1
Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Contempt Proceedings: Jamaat leadershipSelim Uddin and others (Accused not present)
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammad Kamaruzzaman : Examination of DW 1

Defense counsel for the Jamaat leaders Selim Uddin, Hamidur Rahman Azad MP and Rafiqul Islam said they were unable to produce their clients before the tribunal and that they that they had not been able to communicate to their clients the tribunal’s order requiring their attendance. Upon being asked by the tribunal about what may be done, the learned counsels said that they have no option but to surrender their vokalatnama, (the power as appointed advocates of the opposite parties) as it is not possible for them to continue representing the three Jamaat leaders. The tribunal asked the counsels to submit a written application to this effect and accepted their prayer of withdrawal as appointed advocates. Prosecutor Mr Rana Das Gupta submitted that an arrest warrant against the absent leaders should be issued by the Tribunal. He further stated that the opposition parties are intentionally disregarding the Tribunal’s order, showing their disrespect and lack of confidence in the institution.  The Tribunal thenissued an arrest warrant against the three leaders under Rule 46A of the Rules of Procedure read with Section 22 of the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973. They noted that the court had granted time to the leaders on four previous occasions, repeatedly asking for their presence, but with no response. The Tribunal directed the Inspector General of Police to take necessary steps to secure the arrest of the Jamaat trio on or before 21 March 2013.

The Tribunal then moved on to the case against Muhammad Kamaruzzaman. The Defense called its first witness, Md. Arshed Ali, the son of a martyr Ekabbor Ali. After being examined by Defense counsel the Prosecution started its cross-examination. In his testimony Ali described how his father and many others were killed by the Pakistani Army on 10th Srabon of the Bangla calendar during the 1971 Liberation War in Shohagpur, Benupara and Kakorkandi area of Sherpur.   Cross-examination is scheduled to continue on 7 March 2013.

Courtroom Dynamics
During the examination-in-chief of the defense witness, there was an intense argument between Defense counsel Kafil and two of the Tribunal-2 judges: Justice Obaidul Hassan and Judge Shahinur Islam. The argument started when the Defense objected to Judge Shahinur Islam asking questions to the witness. The Defense reacted by saying that he should be allowed to question his witness without interruptions. The Chairman said that contempt proceedings under Section 11(4) of the 1973 Act could be taken against the Defense counsel for similar behavior in future. The Defense counsel at one point said that he would withdraw himself and not continue before the Tribunal. After moments of silence, the situation calmed down after the Defense counsel offered his apology and the judges said that the court is a place to maintain decorum. Questioning was then resumed without any further incident. 

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