Tag Archives: Prosecution Closing Arguments

16 May 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Mujahid Prosecution Closing Arguments

The Prosecution presented their key legal arguments in the case against Mujahid. Prosecutor Afroz addressed a range of legal issues in conjunction Charges 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7. A written outline of the arguments was provided as reference for the Tribunal. The Defense counsel objected because the cover photograph of the outline showed numerous skulls. The Defense argued that such a picture is unnecessary, inappropriate and prejudicial. The Prosecution disagreed, claiming that there is nothing in the law or rules of procedure prohibiting such photographs. The judges agreed with the Prosecutor’s submission, adding that such a photograph will neither be detrimental nor advantageous to the case against the accused and will have no impact on the judicial process.

Prosecutor’s Arguments:
The Prosecution presented arguments on the following issues:

  1.  Legal argument on the absence of victims’ dead body.
  2. Legal argument on ‘extermination ‘ in contrast to ‘murder’.
  3. The doctrine of superior responsibility and how it has been established by the evidence admitted.
  4. Evaluation of documentary evidences and further evaluation of the charges.

The Actus Reus of Murder and Necessity of Victim’s Body as Evidence (relevant to Charges 1 and 5)
The Prosecution began by emphasizing that the bodies of the victims in Charges 1 and 5 were recovered. She argued that the actus reus, of murder requires that the Prosecution prove that the killing itself occurred. Where the body is not found or recovered the killing remains unproved, resulting in the failure of the Prosecution’s case. In this case, Prosecutor Afroz argued that the Defense cannot claim that the actus reus in Charges 1 and 5 has not been proven by reason of failure to find the body of the victims. Continue reading

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

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

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.

27 March 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Hartal, Shortened Coverage

Due to today’s hartal (strike) our researchers were unable to attend proceedings. We have compiled the following short summary from media sources as well as through conversations with the Prosecution and the Defense. 

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammad Kamaruzzaman

In the Kamaruzzaman case the Prosecution continued their Closing Arguments, addressing the evidentiary aspects of Charges 4 – 7. Prosecutor Saiful Islam evaluated the testimony of the prosecution witnesses in relation to each charge.

CHARGE 4:  Killing of Golam Mostafa
Date of Occurrence: 23 August 1971.
Place of Occurrence: Serih Bridge, Gridda Narayanpur village, Mostafabag, Sherpur.
Witnesses in Support of Charge: Prosecution Witnesses 2, 5 and 14.

Charge 4 concerns the murder of a civilian named Golam Mostafa who was allegedly taken from College Morh on Mostafabag Thana Road and taken to Serih Bridge where he was killed. Another victim by the name of Abul Kasem was taken with Golam Mostafa but managed to escape after being shot by jumping into the river flowing under the bridge.

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25 March 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Kamaruzzaman Prosecution Closing Arguments

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammad Kamaruzzaman

The day’s proceedings began later than usual due to the late arrival of senior Prosecutor Saiful Islam. The court sat at 10:35 A.M but adjourned for half an hour after waiting for the Prosecutor to arrive. After his arrival the Tribunal reconvened and chastised the Prosecutor for his tardiness. They warned that he would face sanctions if similar incidents occured in the future.   The prosecutor then moved on to address the evidentiary aspects of each of the charges against Kamaruzzaman.

Charge 1:  Torture and murder of Badiuzzaman
Date of Occurrence: 29 June 1971 and 30 June 1971.
Place of Occurrence: Ahammad Nagar Army Camp
Witnesses in support of the Charge: Prosecution witnesses  4 and 6.

Both the prosecution witnesses in support of this charge provided testimony based on hearsay evidence. Prosecution witness 6 additionally gave testimony in relation to some circumstantial evidence. The testimony of Prosecution witness 4 involves multiple hearsay, meaning that the information was relayed through more than one person before being received by the witness. Prosecution witness 6 testified that Kamaruzzaman accompanied the group who abducted the victim. The Prosecution argued that they have evidence showing that the accused led the group. However, the judges stated that  such evidence would not be of high significance because Charge 1 against Kamaruzzaman is not framed under Section 4(2) of the ICT Act of 1973, which provides for liability due to command responsibility.

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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.

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