Tag Archives: Kamaruzzaman

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.

Charge-2:
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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11 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Kamaruzzaman Adjournment

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

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammed Kamaruzzaman

Today the Tribunal adjourned the Kamaruzzaman case for the fourth consecutive day due to the absence of the senior Defense counsel. The Defense stated that the senior counsel were unable to attend due to personal difficulties resulting from the hartal.  The Chairman of the Tribunal reiterated that the Defense has been granted the right to use law enforcement if necessary on Hartal days. The judges stated that absence amounts to obstruction of the judicial process. Furthermore, the Tribunal noted that given the present political situation, hartals are becoming more frequent. Therefore the Tribunal cannot continue to adjourn proceedings and would close the Defense’s case if they fail to attend on upcoming hartal days. 

10 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Alim Examination-in-Chief of Prosecution Witness 15, Kamaruzzaman Adjournment

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

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammed Kamaruzzaman

Examination in Chief of Alim Prosecution Witness 15
In the Alim case the Prosecution called Prosecution witness 15, Mozammel Hossain. The witness is allegedly the survivor of an assault mission in Jaipurhat. The witness testified that at least 22 Awami League supporters were killed during the and assault conducted by the Pakistani Army during the 1971 Liberation War. Hossain stated that the Pakistani Army acted based on a list of targets provided by the Accused, Abdul Alim, who happened to be a veteran Muslim League leader and Peace Committee member at that time.  The witness claimed that the alleged list contained his name. He said that the attack was directed against local Awami League supporters at the time. Hossain alleged that such supporters were first taken from their village mosque to the nearby village of Birala where they were lined up. People whose names did not appear on the list were released while the rest were taken to Chakpahananda village. There they were tortured and killed. The witness was one of the survivors.  While describing the atrocities the witness showed the court scars from his injuries.

Kamaruzzaman Adjournment due to Absence of Defense During Hartal
Kamaruzzaman’s case was also listed in the daily cause list. Mr Abdur Razzaq, the senior Defense counsel for the accused was again absent due to the ongoing hartal. A junior counsel appearing on behalf of the Accused informed the Tribunal that the senior counsel is unable to attend proceedings on hartal days.  The case was therefore adjourned.

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

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

 Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammed Kamaruzzaman

Tribunal 2 adjourned for the day after expressing its displeasure at the  absence of the senior Defense counsel for Kamaruzzaman, and the general pattern of absence during hartals.  The Chairman of the Tribunal noted that some Defense counsel in other cases are now using security services provided by the law enforcement agencies in order to reach the Tribunal on hartal days. The Tribunal stated that the counsel for  Kamaruzzaman should do the same. The judges stated that this absence is a disservice to the Accused. Furthermore the Tribunal said that given the political situation, they would consider applying Section-13 of the International Crimes (Tribunals ) Act 1973 in deciding whether to allow further adjournments. The judges instructed the junior Defense counsel to communicate these messages to his seniors. Additionally, the Tribunal stressed that it would close the Defense’s  Closing Arguments if the Defense continued to be absent on hartal days.

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.

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

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Kamaruzzaman: Defense Closing Arguments

The day’s proceeding began with a Defense application for permission to meet with the Accused at the Kashimpur Jail. The Tribunal granted the application and allocated two hours (10:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.) on Sunday 7 April 2013 as the tentative date for two members of the Defense counsel to meet with Kamaruzzaman.

Following the defense application, senior Defense counsel for Kamaruzzaman, Abdur Razzaq, continued with the Closing Arguments on the legal issues pertaining to the charge of complicity in the commission of Crimes Against Humanity. The Defense also discussed the evidentiary aspects of Charge 3, which alleges Kamaruzzaman’s involvement the massacre and rape committed at Shohagpur. Razzaq also submitted arguments relating to Charge 2, which alleges the inhuman treatment of pro-liberation intellectual Syed Abdul Hannan. The Defense identified and outlined the substantial contradictions between the testimonies of the relevant witnesses and between their testimony and prior statements to the Investigating Officer.

Complicity in Commission of Crimes Against Humanity
The counsel cited the ICTY Trial Chamber case of Tadic (more specifically paragraph 688 and 689 of the judgment) to claim that the crime of complicity requires intent, defined as awareness of the act coupled with a conscious decision to participate by planning, instigating, ordering, committing, or otherwise aiding and abetting in the commission of a crime. Therefore the Prosecution must prove that the Accused participated in a way that contributed to the commission of the illegal act. The counsel further referred to the I.L.C. Draft Code’s legal findings in the Nuremberg cases whereby it concluded that an Accused may be found culpable if it is proved that he “intentionally commits such a crime” or, if he “knowingly aids, abets or otherwise assists, directly and substantially, in the commission of such a crime.”

The Defense argued no evidence has been given to show that Kamaruzzaman knowingly acted in a way that substantially and directly contributed to the commission of a crime. The Prosecution has failed to prove that Kamaruzzaman had the requisite intent of awareness or knowledge that crimes would be committed or were planned. Nothing has been presented to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he assisted, instigated, facilitated, or aided and abetted the commission of the alleged offences. Continue reading

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

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammad Kamaruzzaman – Defense Closing Arguments

The Defense began its presentation of Closing Arguments in the Kamaruzzaman case. Counsel addressed details pertaining to Charge 1 and the allegations of Kamaruzzaman’s involvement in the torture and killing of Bodiuzzaman. The Defense identified and outlined the substantial contradictions between the testimonies of Prosecution witnesses 4 and 6, both of whom provided hearsay evidence. Additionally the Defense highlighted inconsistencies between each witness’ courtroom testimony and their previous statements to the Investigation Officer. The Defense argued that in order for hearsay evidence to be viewed as credible and reliable it should be consistent and supported by circumstantial evidence. The contradictions and inconsistencies in the Prosecution’s case for Charge 1 give rise to substantial doubt as to the guilt of the Accused.

Abdur Razzaq, the senior Defense counsel for the Accused, also addressed legal questions arising from the Prosecution’s case including admissibility and probative value of hearsay evidence in the absence of corroborative evidence, whether the statement of one hearsay witness can satisfactorily corroborate another, and whether corroboration is required. In the course of their submissions the Defense referred to and analysed judicial precedents from the ICTY and the ICTR and rebutted arguments made by Prosecutor Tureen Afroz on 31 March 2013. The Defense also referred to the text Archbold: International Criminal Courts Practice, Procedure and Evidence and some domestic cases.

The Defense stated that their final arguments would take a total of four days. They requested that the court accommodate their proposed timeline.

Charge 1
Evidentiary and Factual Arguments
The first Charge against Kamaruzzaman pertains to the killing of Badiuzzaman. The charge is supported only by the testimony of Prosecution witnesses 4, Fakir Abdul Mannan, and 6, Dr Md Hasanuzzaman, both of whom are hearsay witnesses.  The Defense argued that there are fundamental discrepancies between the two witnesses’ testimonies and the findings of the Investigation Officer. The Defense stated that these discrepancies and inconsistencies go to the very root of the Prosecution’s case. The testimony of these witnesses has been used to establish the Prosecution’s allegations about the purpose of Badiuzzaman’s visit to Ahammed Member’s House at Badiu where he was abducted, the presence of Pakistan Army at the time of abduction, Ahammed Member’s position during the Liberation War, the mode of Badiuzzaman’s arrest, and the identification of Kamaruzzaman.

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