Tag Archives: judicial notice

30 May 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Mujahid Defense Closing Arguments

30 May 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid

Today Defense counsel Abdur Razzak began his portion of the Closing Arguments in the case of Mujahid. Although he had previously been designated to cover only the legal aspects of the case, he also discussed evidentiary and factual issues as well, particularly issues pertaining to documentary evidence.

The Defense also informed the Tribunal that because the senior Defense team is also appearing before the Appellate Division in conjunction with the Qader Molla case appeal, they would need the Tribunal to accommodate the Defense’s schedule (in particular Mr. Razzak’s schedule). He said that he would only be able to present arguments in the Mujahid case in the afternoon. The Tribunal agreed to accommodate the Defense counsel as far as possible.

Closing Arguments
The Defense noted that the book “Al-Badr” is the primary documentary evidence relied upon by the Prosecution to establish that Mujahid held a leadership position in the Al-Badr forces during the 1971 war period.

The counsel stated that the book refers to the speech of the ’Nezam’ (Head/leader) of Al-Badr, given the night before Pakistan surrendered on 16th December 1971. The counsel submitted that this is the worst possible form of hearsay evidence as there is no reference as to who recalled and reported the meeting, who gave the description of the meeting, when and where such an interview was taken and how the contents of the speech of the ‘Nezam’ could be authenticated. The Defense submitted that without knowing this information, the evidence cannot be relied upon in reaching any conclusion regarding Mujahid’s position within the Al-Badr forces or his alleged guilt. Because the book amounts to anonymous hearsay it cannot be relied upon. Continue reading

17 April 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Gholam Azam Closing Arguments, Prosecution’s Reply

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury: Request for Adjournment
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs, Gholam Azam: Prosecution’s Reply to Defense Closing Arguments, Defense Rebuttal

Because today was fixed for the Prosecution’s reply in the Gholam Azam case, Ahsanul Huq Hena, Defense counsel for Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, requested adjournment of the Chowdhury case until 21 April 2013. The Tribunal adjourned the proceedings for the day and scheduled the case to be heard tomorrow, 18 April 2013.

Today in the Gholam Azam case the Tribunal heard the Prosecution’s reply to the Defense’s Closing Arguments. Prosecutors Sultan Mahmud Simon, Turin Afroz and Haider Ali submitted arguments. After the completion of Prosecution’s submissions the Defense was given 25 minutes for their rebuttal. After hearing both sides the Tribunal officially took the case under consideration awaiting verdict.

Prosecution’s Reply
Prosecutor Sultan Mahmud Simon began by arguing that counsel for the Accused had presented only one theory of defense, being that Gholam Azam had supported Pakistan during the Liberation War with the purpose of maintaining the unity of Pakistan. Simon questioned whether such support could be considered lawful after Bangladesh’s declaration of independence on 26 March 1971. The Prosecution submitted that the Tribunal must consider the entirety of the case against Gholam Azam in light of the historical events of 1971. He submitted that Prosecution proved each element of the alleged crimes through sufficient oral and documentary evidence. The Prosecution also asserted that paragraph 6 of the Formal Charge discussed the Doctrine of Superior Responsibility. Prosecutor Simon read out sections 9, 10, 16 and 19 of the ICT Act of 1973 and talked about judicial notice.

The Tribunal Chairman asked whether the Prosecution had exhibited the documents (including some reports published in international media regarding the atrocities committed in Bangladesh in 1971) referred to in the Formal Dharge. The Prosecution replied that seven books had been submitted and that the Tribunal had been asked to take them under judicial notice. The Defense dissented and claimed that the Prosecution did not exhibit the documents that the Tribunal is specifically requesting.

The Prosecution argued that Gholam Azam supported Pakistan despite being aware of the atrocities committed by the Pakistani army on 25 March 1971. Prosecutor Simon referred to ‘Jibone Ja Dekhalm’ (Exhibit-H) and also submitted that the atrocities committed by the Pakistani occupation forces were known internationally at the time. The Prosecution claimed that the Defense failed to produce a single document showing that Gholam Azam criticized the atrocities committed by the Pakistani occupation forces. Prosecutor Simon claimed that this proves Gholam Azam’s involvement in and support for the atrocities.  Continue reading

24 March 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Kamaruzzaman DW 5, Prosecution Closing Arguments

The Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammad Kamaruzzaman

The day’s proceedings started later than usual because the Defense witness scheduled to testify in Kamaruzzaman’s case was not initially allowed to enter the tribunal premises in a car. The Defense Counsel accompanying him was adamant that the witness would not get out to walk because of the prior incident in which a Defense witness was allegedly abducted outside the Tribunal. After the situation was resolved the Tribunal heard Defense witness 5 provide direct testimony and allowed the Prosecution to conduct their cross-examination.

After the witness’ testimony was concluded the Chief Prosecutor began their Closing Arguments in the case.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Kamaruzzaman
Testimony of Defense Witness 5
Mr Abdur Rahim, Defense witness 5, testified before the Tribunal. During his direct examination, the witness testified that he is the son of Late Didar Ali and is a permanent resident, living in Mymensingh District. He is an elderly businessman of the locality. He claimed to have been a freedom fighter during the Liberation War and the General Secretary of Shecchashebok Bahini  (Volunteer Forces) formed after the Liberation War. Mr. Rahim testified that he never heard Kamaruzzaman’s name referenced in connection to the Al-Badr or Rajakar forces in Mymensingh District.

Continue reading