Tag Archives: planning

Special Report: Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam Verdict and Legal Findings

This special report provides a detailed overview of the factual and legal findings of the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) Judgment in Chief Prosecutor vs. Professor Gholam Azam. Gholam Azam was found guilty on all five charges and sentenced to 90 years imprisonment. The Tribunal made a point of noting that he deserved the death penalty, but because of his age and illness, they saw fit to sentence him to life imprisonment instead. Arguments in the case were completed on 17 April 2013 and the verdict was issued on 15 July 2013. It was the second verdict to be issued by Tribunal 1, and the fifth verdict issued by the ICT. Our previous special report on the Gholam Azam case reported in detail on the documentary and testimonial evidence used to support each count within each distinct charge against the Defendant, as well as the general arguments made by both parties. This report focuses on the legal outcomes of the case.

The full report is available here:Special Issue No. 5 – Gholam Azam Case Verdict

3 April 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Gholam Azam Defense Closing Arguments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

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

Today Defense counsel for Gholam Azam filed an application seeking the recall of yesterday’s order, citing the interest of justice. Yesterday, 2 April 2013, the Tribunal passed an order directing the Defense to conclude their Closing Arguments by 4 April 2013. The Defense argued that compelling them to conclude their Closing Arguments would seriously prejudice the Accused because they would be unable to adequately present the case.

The Defense requested an additional four days instead of the two currently allotted. Senior Defense counsel stated that he cannot make himself available on hartal days. He noted that the other courts of the country, from the magistrate level to the Supreme Court, do not convene on hartal days. Razzaq further stated that though he is supporter of a political party, he appears before the Tribunal solely as an advocate and has refrained from making any political statements over the last 3-4 years.

After making his submissions Tribunal 2 granted Razzaq permission to leave in order to appear before Tribunal 2.

Prosecutor Sultan Mahmud Simon opposed the prayer and submitted that the application should be rejected summarily.

Defense Closing Arguments
Defense counsel Imran Siddiq continued the submission of Closing Arguments on behalf of Gholam Azam. He argued regarding the legal requirements of the charge of conspiracy, planning and incitement.

Conspiracy to commit crimes against humanity
Imran Siddiq submitted that section 3(2)(a) of the ICT Act of 1973 does not describe the elements of the crime which the Prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt. Given the silence of the Statute on this matter, it is therefore necessary to look to Customary International Law in order to assess whether the Prosecution has sufficiently proved its case.

Imran stated that in order to convict the Accused of conspiracy to commit Crimes Against Humanity, the Prosecution must prove that i) there was an attack ii) the attack was widespread or systematic iii) the attack was directed against a civilian population iv) the attack was committed on national, political, ethical, racial or religious grounds and v) Gholam Azam acted with the knowledge of the attack. He cited to the ICTR case of Ntagerura (Trial Chamber), 25 February 2004, para 698.

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20 Feb 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Gholam Azam Closing Arguments, Nizami Cross-Examination of PW 2

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs Gholam Azam: Applications, Closing Arguments (Accused Not Present)
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs Motiur Rahman Nizami (Accused Present)

In the Gholam Azam case the Defense submitted three applications. In the first they requested permission for the appearance of foreign expert witnesses General Sir Jack Deverell and Professor William Schabas, either in person or via video link. Alternatively the Defense requested that the Tribunal accept their expert reports into evidence under Rule 46(A) of the Rules of Procedure for the ICT. The Defense additionally filed another application for bail, stating that Gholam Azam is over 90 years old and is in poor physical condition. They claim that he is not receiving proper treatment in the prison cell of the hospital. Finally, the Defense submitted an application requesting permission to inspect the record of orders. The Defense does not receive all orders passed by the Tribunal automatically and stated that they needed to review the record in order to make sure that they had requested the necessary orders. The Tribunal then heard the Prosecution’s closing arguments for the 4th day. The Prosecution focused on Charges 2, and 3.

In the Nizami case the Tribunal heard an application filed by the Prosecution requesting permission to submit additional documents relating to Charge 16 and other charges. The Defense objected that there is no scope to augment reports after investigation, since Tribunal took cognizance base on complete investigation report. The Defense also stated that they did not receive the investigation reports. Thereafter, Defense Counsel Mizanul Islam cross-examined PW-2, Zahir Uddin Jalal alias Bichchu Jalal. The Tribunal then adjourned the proceeding of Nizami case until March 6, 2013.

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