Tag Archives: out of court statements

5 August 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Chowdhury Defense Closing Arguments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury

Today in the Salauddin Qader Chowdhury case the Defense continued presenting its Closing Arguments for the third day. The Tribunal then adjourned the proceedings of the case until 7 August 2013. Tomorrow, 6 August is a government holiday.

Statements under section 19(2)
The Defense argued that Section 19(2) of the ICT Act 1973 can be used arbitrarily due to its construction. Section 19(2) of the ICT Act 1973 states that the Tribunal may receive in evidence any statement recorded by a Magistrate or Investigation Officer being a statement made by any person who, at the time of the trial, is dead or whose attendance cannot be procured without an amount of delay or expense which the Tribunal considers unreasonable. The Defense argued that the word used in this section is ‘may’ which means this section is discretionary and there may be some exceptions. The section also used the words ‘any person’ and is not specific about the maker of the statement. The Defense remarked that where the statement is recorded by a Magistrate the statement is to be signed by the declarant and accompanied by a memorandum, similarly to Bangladesh’s Criminal Procedure Code. However, Section 19(2) allows for statement made to the Investigation Officer to be admitted into evidence, despite the fact that these statements are not signed by the declarant. The Defense argued that, under Bangladeshi law, statements made to the police, and therefore to the Investigation Officer, carry no value and should not be admitted into evidence.  The Defense therefore asserted that the open ended nature of Section 19(2) shows that there is scope for its misuse.   Continue reading

9 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Alim Application for Admission of Statements under Section 19(2)

Today due to scheduled vacation our researcher was unable to attend proceedings. The following coverage was gathered from media sources.

The Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

The Tribunal heard an application from the Prosecution requesting that statements previously made by a few witnesses to the Investigation Officer be admitted into evidence under Section 19(2) of the ICT Act. Section 19(2) allows for unsworn statements made by witnesses to the Investigation Officer to be admitted where the witness is deceased or unavailable. The Prosecutor informed the Tribunal that four Prosecution Witnesses who were supposed to testify against Abdul Alim have been “missing” since May 2013. The witnesses who cannot be found are Mr Nurul Islam, Mr Abul Khayer Sarkar, Mr Fazlur Rahman and Mr Matiur Rahman. The Tribunal rejected the application, stating that admitting the statements would not be lawful and would have prejudicial effect against the accused as the defense would be deprived of the right to cross-examine the missing witnesses.

The rejection of the application is out of step with the Tribunal’s previous decisions. Previously, the Tribunal has accepted the similar requests from the Prosecution with regard to five other prosecution witnesses who were also unavailable to give testimony. Two, ,Mr Dulu Talukdar and Akramuddin died in 2011; two others, Mr Shirajul Haque and Shamsul Huda Chowdhury, are physically unfit to give testimony before the tribunal and one Krishna Kumar Bajla, currently resides in India where his wife is receiving medical treatment. The Tribunal noted that it would not be unjust to allow the statements of the deceased and witnesses who are unavailable due to illness or for being out of the country be considered as evidence, as their case is distinct from the ones who are merely suspected of being missing.

 The Defense counsel Mr. Tajul Islam objected regarding the acceptance of the statements of the two deceased witnesses, stating that the two died long before submission of the witness list. The Defense accused the Prosecution of intentionally keeping the names of those two witnesses on the list despite knowing about their death. However this argument did not change the Tribunal’s conclusion.

10 June 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Hartal Coverage, Chowdhury Cross-Examination of PW 41

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor v.s Salauddin Qader Chowdhury

Due to a nation-wide hartal our researchers were unable to attend proceedings today. Our coverage is gathered from media sources and from discussions with the Defense and Prosecution. 

In the Salauddin Qader Chowdhury case, the Defense continued their cross-examination of Md Nurul Islam, the Investigation Officer, Prosecution witness 41. Thereafter, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow, 11 June, 2013.

Cross-Examination of Investigation Officer, PW 41
The Defense asked the witness about Exhibit-32/3, a certified photocopy of the General  Register of a prior case filed regarding the incidents also alleged in this case.  The Defense claimed that charge sheet of that case did not contain the name of Fazlul Qader Chowdhury or Salauddin Qader Chowdhury. The Defense also asked the witness about Exhibit- 32/4 a case filed by Anil Boron Dor (PW-22). The Defense claimed that the witness did not investigate other persons accused in that case, though they were alleged to be responsible for the same incidents. Continue reading

29 May 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Hartal Coverage, Chowdhury Applications and PW 41

 Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury

Today due to a nation-wide hartal our researchers were unable to attend proceedings. Our coverage is gathered from media sources and conversations with both the Defense and the Prosecution.

In the Salauddin Qader Chowdhury case the Tribunal issued its order on the three applications filed by the Prosecution and the two applications filed by the Defense on 28 May 2013. Today the Tribunal passed an order accepting four of the proposed eight out-of-court Prosecution witness statements submitted by the Prosecution under Section 19(2) of the ICT Act 1973. Among these four witnesses three are dead and one has been determined to have left for India. The Tribunal rejected the Prosecution’s petition to submit additional documents. They accepted the petition to correct the mistake made in the Charge Framing Order. The Tribunal rejected both the Defense’s applications.

Today the Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief of the Prosecution witness 41, the Investigation Officer Md Nurul Islam. Thereafter, the Defense sought additional time for preparation. The Tribunal adjourned the case until Monday, 3 June 2013.

14 March 2013: ICT 1 Daily Summary – Gholam Azam Defense Closing Arguments

The Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam – Defense Closing Arguments

On 14 March 2013 Defense Counsel Mizanul Islam continued the closing arguments for the 4th day. Thereafter, Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the Gholam Azam’s case until 18 March 2013.

After the lunch break the Prosecution introduced new Prosecutor Turin Afroz to the Judges of the Tribunal 1. The Chairman said that Tribunal 1 would hear arguments from Prosecutor Turin Afroz and Defense Counsel Imran Siddique for one hour on 18 March regarding the issue of whether a civilian can have superior command responsibility.

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28 Jan 2013: ICT 1- Sayedee Defense Closing Arguments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Prosecutor vs. Azharul Islam (Investigatory Stage)
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Delwar Hossain Sayedee: Defense Resubmission of Closing Arguments (Accused Present)

The Prosecution filed an application requesting permission to interrogate Azharul Islam at the Witness Safe House for two days. Defense counsel for Azharul Islam submitted that there is no reasonable cause to take their client to the safe house. They argued that the Investigation Authority can interrogate him at the jail and requested the Tribunal to pass an order on February 5, 2013, as that was the date fixed for the prosecution’s submission of the investigation’s progress report. The Tribunal fixed February 5, 2013 for order.

In the Sayedee case Abdur Razzaq continued the Defense’s Closing Arguments, addressing legal points for the 3rd consecutive day. The Prosecution began its reply to the Defense’s final arguments.

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17 Jan 2013: ICT 1 Daily Summary – Sayedee Prosecution Closing Arguments

The Tribunal heard the following case:

Chief Prosecutor vs. Delwar Hossein Sayedee

On behalf of the Prosecution, Haider Ali submitted the Prosecution’s final arguments, addressing Charges 17-19.

Haider Ali began by reading out the  Daily Jonokontho dated 5 March 2001 (Ext-08) regarding incident at Sajuddin Poshari and the killing of Fayzur Rahman (charge 5) and Aziz; the looting of shops in Bipod Shaha, Modon Shaha and Makhon Shaha; and general allegations of looting, burning houses, torturing people, forced conversion of Hindus, and killing of Hindus. He read out Exhibit -48,  the Daily Azad , dated 3 February 1972 relating to Charge 18. He read out Exhibit-12, the Daily Shamakal, and  Exhibit-46, a newspaper dated 17 July 2010; as well as Exhibit  47 dated 14 April 2001.

He then focused on the individual charges and the prosecution’s evidence in support of each one. Continue reading