Tag Archives: Kamaruzzaman

Special Report Issue 2: Detailed Summary of Kamaruzzaman Case and Verdict

We are pleased to release our second Special Issue Report on the Verdict in the Kamaruzzaman case. For a full pdf of the report please read here: Special Issue No. 2 – Kamaruzzaman Verdict

This special report provides a detailed summary of the International Crimes Tribunal’s fourth verdict, the Judgment in Chief Prosecutor vs. Md. Kamaruzzaman. The verdict was issued on 9 May 2013 and was the third verdict to be issued by Tribunal 2. We have attempted to distill the major conclusions expressed by the Tribunal into a digestible format. We have reported on the documentary and witness evidence used to support each distinct charge, general arguments made by both parties, and the conclusions reached by the Tribunal. For the sake of length we have focused this report on the factual and charge specific findings within the Judgment. We will be publishing a supplementary report regarding the legal conclusions made in the Judgment that have particular bearing on the ongoing proceedings. This report does not critically analyze the legal merits of the Judgment. It is presented simply in order to facilitate broader access to and understanding of the ICT’s proceedings and conclusions.

Kamaruzzaman was found guilty on 5 of 7 Charges, specifically Charges 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7. He was acquitted of Charges 5 and 6. All of the Charges alleged direct commission of Crimes Against Humanity or, in the alternative, complicity in Crimes Against Humanity. The Prosecution additionally argued that Kamaruzzaman could be found liable under the doctrine of Command Responsibility under Section 4(2). However, he was convicted solely of complicity in Crimes Against Humanity under Section 4(1) of the Act.  On the basis of Charges 3 and 4 he was sentenced to death. The Tribunal noted that charges 1 and 7 merited a life sentence, while Kamaruzzaman was sentenced to ten years imprisonment under charge 2. All lesser sentences were merged into the death sentence.

Please read the entire report here: Special Issue No. 2 – Kamaruzzaman Verdict

Weekly Digest, Issue 12: April 7-11

This week Tribunal 1 continued to hear the Defence’s Closing Arguments in the Gholam Azam case. The Defence concluded their coverage of Charges 3 and 4, and requested one additional day to complete their arguments. The Defence however did not attend proceedings during hartal days. In the Salauddin Qader Chowdhury case the Tribunal heard the testimony of Prosecution witness 25. Additionally, the Prosecution submitted the Formal Charges against Mubarak Hossain and both Parties submitted their arguments regarding the impending of indictment of Hossain.

In Tribunal 2 the Defence for Ali Ahsan Mohadded Mujahid began their cross-examination of Prosecution witness 17, the Investigation Officer. The case of Kamaruzzaman was repeatedly scheduled for the Defence’s Closing Arguments. However, the Senior Defence counsel did not attend on hartal days and therefore the case was adjourned until the following week. In the case against Abdul Alim the Prosecution conducted the examination-in-chief of Prosecution witnesses 14 and 15.

It should be noted that hartals were called for the 8, 9, 10, and 11th of April. Due to security concerns our researchers are unable to attend proceedings on hartal days. Therefore our coverage of those days is compiled from media sources as well as discussion with the Defence and Prosecution.

The full report of this week’s proceedings can be read here: Weekly Digest, Issue 12 – April 7-11

9 May 2013: Kamaruzzaman Guilty Verdict

Tribunal 2 of the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh has found Kamaruzzaman guilty on 5 of 7 charges. He was found guilty on charges 1,2,3,4 and 7, acquitted of charges 5 and 6. He has been sentenced to death based on charges 3 and 4. The Tribunal noted that charges 1 and 7 carried a life sentence, while he was sentenced to ten years imprisonment under charge 2. All the charges were for direct involvement and complicity in Crimes Against Humanity.

The full Judgment may be viewed here: Kamaruzzaman Full Judgment

Profile of Mohammad Kamaruzzaman
The Prosecution alleged that Kamaruzzaman, who in 1971 was 19 years of age, established the paramilitary force of Al-Badr in the district of Mymensingh. The force is thought to have committed genocide, killings, rape, looting, arson and enforced deportation throughout the region in collaboration with the Pakistani Army. Kamaruzzaman was the President of Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student branch of Jamaat-e-Islami, during the war. He was appointed as Joint Secretary of the Dhaka City Jamaat-e-Islami in 1981 and served as Publicity Secretary for the party between 1983 and 1991. He became Assistant Secretary General in 1992.

Procedural History
Investigation into Kamaruzzaman’s involvement in the commission of Crimes against Humanity and Genocide during the liberation war began with a formal probe on 21 July 2011. He was arrested in conjunction with the case on 2 August 2011. The Prosecution submitted their proposed Formal Charge on 15 May, and the case was subsequently transferred from ICT-1 to ICT-2. Tribunal 2 took cognizance of the charges on 31 January 2012 and issued the Charge Framing Order indicting Kamaruzzaman on 4 June 2012. The trial began on 2 July 2012. The Prosecution called 18 witnesses in support of their case. The Defense was limited by the Tribunal to 5 witnesses. Witness testimony was completed on 24 March 2013. Closing Arguments were complete on 16 April 2013. The verdict comes just over three weeks after the termination of proceedings.

The Charges: The Charges in red indicate a guilty verdict. See here for the Original Charge Framing Order.

  1. Murder, Torture and Other Inhuman Acts as Crimes Against Humanity and Complicity in Such Crimes: for leading a group of Al-Badr in abducting civilian Badiuzzaman who was tortured and then killed. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act. Sentenced to life imprisonment
  2. Inhuman Acts as Crimes Against Humanity and Complicity in Such Crimes:  Sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for attacking, forcibly shaving and whipping Syed Abdul Hannan, the Principal of Sherpur College. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.
  3. Murder as a Crime Against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime:  Sentenced to death for advising and facilitating members of Al-Badr and Razakars in the massacre and rape of unarmed civilians in Shohagpur. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act. Some media sources have stated that Kamaruzzaman was convicted of Genocide under Charge 3. This is incorrect, the Charge Framing Order alleges murder as a Crime Against Humanity and the Charge was not amended to Genocide.
  4. Murder as a Crime against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime: Sentenced to death for the shooting of Golam Mostafa and Abul Kasem at Serih Bridge, causing the death of Golam Mostafa. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.
  5. Murder as a Crime against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime: Acquitted for the abduction and torture of Md. Liakat Ali and Mujibur Rahman Janu, and their ultimate murder behind the Ahammad Nagar UP office. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.
  6. Murder as a Crime against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime: Acquitted for the abduction of Tunu and Jahangir and subsequent torture and death of Tunu. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.
  7. Murder as a Crime against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime: Sentenced to life imprisonment for accompanying members of Al-Badr on a raid of the house of Tepa Mia in Golpajan Road the ultimate killing of six other unarmed civilians with a bayonet. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.

Legal Conclusions:
The Judgment followed closely the legal conclusions made in Tribunal 2’s Judgments against Kalam Azad Bachu and Qader Molla, as well as Tribunal 1’s decision against Delwar Hossain Sayedee. However, this case also addressed in detail the role of Jamaat-e-Islami in the commission of atrocities during the liberation war. There is some thought that this verdict could be used as the basis for banning the current Jamaat-e-Islami as a political party. A writ is currently pending before the High court requesting that the party be banned.

The full Judgment may be viewed here: Kamaruzzaman Full Judgment

Additionally, we will be publishing an in depth report on the factual and legal conclusions contained in the verdict. Please check this website for updates.

Weekly Digest Issue 11: March 31- April 4

The full report of this week’s proceedings can be read here: Weekly Digest, Issue 11 – March 31- April 4

This week Tribunal 1 dealt with the Motiur Rahman Nizami, Salauddin Qader Chowdhury, and Gholam Azam cases. In the case against Nizami the Defence cross-examined Prosecution witness 3, Rustom Ali Mollah. In the case against Salauddin Qader Chowdhury the Tribunal heard both the examination-in-chief and cross-examination of Prosecution witness 24, Babul Chakraborty. Gholam Azam’s Defence counsel continued their Defence Closing Arguments, addressing the conspiracy allegations under Charge 1, as well as legal arguments on incitement. Proceedings were delayed by hartals and the absence of Defense counsel.

In Tribunal 2, the Court heard the Prosecution’s Closing Arguments in the Kamaruzzaman case, during which they addressed evidentiary issues including hearsay, and legal arguments about the standard of complicity and under the doctrine of Superior Responsibility. Due to the hartal on 2 April, ICT 2 convened only briefly to allow the Prosecution to complete their examination-in-chief of the Investigation Officer in the Mujahid case. On 3rd April the Defence began its presentation of Closing Arguments in the Kamaruzzaman case, addressing factual issues in Charges 1-3 and responding to the legal issues raised by the Prosecution during their Closing Arguments.

The full report of this week’s proceedings can be read here: Weekly Digest, Issue 11 – March 31- April 4

16 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Kamaruzzaman Final Closing Arguments, Mujahid Cross-Examination of PW 17

The publication of this post was delayed as we were waiting to obtain certain documents from the Prosecution. Please excuse the inconvenience.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecution vs. Muhammad Kamaruzzaman: Defense application and Conclusion of Prosecution Closing Arguments, Accused Present 
  2. Chief Prosecution vs. Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid: Defense Application and Cross-Examination of Investigation Officer

The Tribunal heard the last of the Prosecution’s Closing Arguments in the Kamaruzzaman  case. Prosecutor Tureen Afroz addressed remaining legal issues including the value of hearsay evidence, inconsistencies and the old evidence rule, and the doctrine of Superior Responsibility under Section 4(2). Two other Prosecutors made additional closing remarks before the Tribunal allowed the Defense to present a brief rebuttal. The case was then closed and the Tribunal officially took it into consideration awaiting verdict.

In the Mujahid case the Tribunal heard a Prosecution application seeking limitation of the number of Defense witnesses allowed. The Defense previously submitted a list of 1500 names listed as possible defense witnesses. After Disposing of the Application and limiting the Defense to three witnesses, the Tribunal then returned to the Defense’s cross-examination of Prosecution witness 17, the Investigation Officer.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Kamaruzzaman
Defense Application for Opportunity to Make Statement
At the beginning of the day’s proceedings, the defense submitted an application on behalf of the accused under Section 17(1) and (2) of the ICT Act seeking permission for the Accused to make a statement before the Tribunal. Section 17(1) provides that the Accused “shall have the right to give any explanation relevant to the charge mage against him.” Section 17(2) allows the Accused to conduct his own Defense or to have the assistance of counsel.

The Prosecution opposed the application and stated that such a statement could only be allowed while the Tribunal is hearing witnesses. However, Closing Arguments are taking place and there is no such right at this stage of proceedings.

The Judges quickly rejected the application and agreed with the Prosecution’s interpretation of the Statute.  Continue reading

Weekly Digest 10: March 24-28

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

The Tribunal was in recess on 26 March 2013 in honor of Bangladesh’s independence day. Additionally, opposition parties declared hartals on the 27th and 28th of March. Therefore our coverage of those days is gathered from media sources as well as discussions with the Defense and Prosecution. Our researchers are unable to attend proceedings on hartal days due to security concerns.

Tribunal 1:
Proceedings in Tribunal 1 continued to center on the Defense’s Closing Arguments in the Gholam Azam case this week, with counsel completing their submissions regarding factual issues and Charge 5. Senior Defense counsel Abdur Razzaq is scheduled to present arguments on legal issues and Charges 1-4 next week. In the Salauddin Qader Chowdhury case the Defense cross-examined Prosecution witnesses 22 and 23. Additionally, The Tribunal heard Chowdhury’s Defense application for police escort to the Tribunal on hartal days.

Tribunal 2:
Tribunal 2 dealt with two cases this week. In the Kamaruzzaman case, Defense witness 5 completed providing testimony, and the Prosecution began Closing Arguments. The Tribunal also heard testimony from Prosecution witness 17, the Investigating Officer, in the Mujahid case.

Please read the full report here: Weekly Digest, Issue 10 – March 24-28

16 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Kamaruzzaman Prosecution Reply to Defense Closing Arguments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammad Kamaruzzaman – Prosecution Reply – Closing Arguments

Our summary of the Prosecution’s reply to the Defense’s Closing Arguments in the Kamaruzzaman case is forthcoming. We are consulting Prosecution documents to make sure that our coverage is detailed and accurate. Please check back here for the full length post which we will publish shortly.