Tag Archives: Razakars

23 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Abul Alim Prosecution Witness 16

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

the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim: Examination-in-Chief of Prosecution Witness 16, Accused Present

The Prosecution called Mr AKM Mahbubur Rahman to testify as Prosecution Witness 16.  Mahbubur is a local businessman, who is the nephew of victims allegedly killed on 26 May 1971. The witness testified in support of Charge 7, alleging that Alim was involved with the Pakistani army in the killing. Mahbubur stated that the Accused was a leading figure of the Peace Committee, and that he helped to form an anti-liberation force in Jaipurhat and Panchbibi. This auxiliary force, known as Rajakar Bahini, apprehended and delivered unarmed civilians and supporters of Bangladeshi independence to the Pakistan Army. They also committed arson and looting.

Mahbubur stated that on 26th May 1971 the Pakistan Army raided their home in Nowda village, based on information collected by two Rajakars, Ahmed Bihari and Rashid Bihari. The witness and his elder brother Bazlur Rahman hid but were able to see the incident. With the assistance of Ahmed and Rashid, who announced that the Army was there to restore peace, the witnesses’ uncles Yusuf Uddin Sardar, Yunus Uddin Sardar  and Ilias Uddin Sarder were taken into the custody of the Pakistani Army. Mahbubur testified that his cousin Abul Kashem Sardar went to attempt to get the men released. The witness said that Abul Kashem was advised by some Peace Committee members to talk to Abul Alim about the matter.  Upon returning from Alim’s Peace Committeee office in Shaon Lal Bazla’s Godighor, Kashem said that Alim denied to release the victims because they were suspected of being affiliated with the freedom fighters. The witness said that he and others heard gunshots coming from Kali Shaha’s pond in the evening at around 6:30 p.m. The family knew that the detainees had been shot to death.

After the incident, Mahbubur said that he and his family fled to India and only returned after independence. The witness said that they later disinterred their bodies from the mass grave near Kali Shaha’s pond and reburied them following appropriate burial rituals.

18 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Mujahid Cross-Examination of PW 17

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim: Rescheduling of PW 16, Accused Present
  2. Prosecution vs. Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid : Cross-examination of PW 17, Accused Present

Today the Prosecutor in the case against Abdul Alim, Mr Rana Das Gupta, requested an adjournment of the case until the 22nd or 23rd of April, due to difficulties in producing Prosecution witness 16. He stated that the witness had encountered difficulty in reaching Dhaka and therefore was not present. Defense counsel, Mr Ahsanul Huq Hena, added that the 23rd would be appropriate as it has been announced as a hartal day and it is unlikely that the Defense counsel in other cases will appear. The Tribunal agreed and scheduled 23 April 2013 for the next hearing.

The Tribunal then turned to the case against Mujahid, in which the Defense resumed its cross-examination of  Prosecution witness 17, the Investigation Officer Abdur Razzaq. The Defense’s core line of questioning aimed at highlighting the various procedural flaws in the investigation process and underlying deficiencies that undermine the reliability of the officer’s findings.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Mujahid: Cross-Examination of PW 17
The witness testified that he went to Gopinath Shaha’s house at 11 a.m. He confirmed that Gopinath Shaha’s three siblings, Khirodh Shaha, Shakti Shaha (PW-13), and Kanon Bala live in India. The Investigating Officer admitted that Prosecution witness 13, Shakti Shaha, periodically comes to Bangladesh and that this fact was not included in the statement of Gopinath Shaha.

The Defense suggested that during the investigation it was discovered that Gopinath had previously filed a case regarding his father’s death. They alleged tat this fact was being concealed because Mujahid’s name was among the accused in the prior case. The Investigating Officer denied the allegations. He admitted that he did not determine the date of Shakti Shaha’s last visit to Bangladesh prior to the witness’ date of testimony. Continue reading

16 April 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Nizami Examination-in-Chief of PW 4, Abdus Sobhan Submission of Investigation Progress Report

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami
  2. Investigation of Moulana Abdus Sobhan

In the Nizami case the Prosecuttion and Defense respectively conducted the examination-in-chief and cross-examination of Prosecution witness 4, Habibur Rahman Habib. The case was then l adjourned until 18 April 2013.

In the ongoing Investigation of Moulana Abdus Sobhan the Prosecution a progress report.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Nizami – Prosecution witness 4
Today the Tribunal heard testimony from Prosecution witness 4, the former freedom fighter Habibur Rahman Habib.

Prosecution’s Examination-in-Chief
Habibur Rahman Habib first testified about his personal details, including his profession, family, and education. He stated that in 1971 he was Zilla Muktijuddha Commander, the Pabna district commander of freedom fighters. The witness claimed that until 10 April 1971 Pabna had been free from Pakistani occupation. On 11 April 11 the Pakistani forces took control of Pabna. The witness stated that he, his elder brother Shahidullah and as many as 300 or 400 students fled to India. In India he took shelter at Kachuadanga Camp in Shikarpur. Later he went to Deradun with a 45 member team where they received 45 days of training. Then they left Deradun to return to Pabna.

Habib testified that while in India he learned that Moulana Kasimuddin, the headmaster of the Pabna Zilla School, had been killed. The witness stated that he had been close friends with Shibli, the son of Moulana Kasimuddin. The night of 19 August 1971 Habib said he went to meet Shibli to convey his sympathies and Shibli told him the story of his father’s murder.

Habib testified that Shibli told him that on 4 June 1971 his father, Moulana Kasimuddin, told the family members that he would not be safe in his house because Motiur Rahman Nizami had made a list of people to be killed and Kasimuddin’s name appeared on the list. Kasimuddin attempted to hide himself and boarded a bus from Tematha. However some Jamaat leaders identified him on the way and handed him over to the Pakistani Army. Habib testified that Kasimuddin was then taken to the Nurpur army camp. Shibli told Habib that his father was physically and mentally tortured at the camp. Shibli told him that his mother, brother and sisters went to Nurpur camp and begged for the life of Kasimuddin. Shibli also said that his family members begged Nizami for mercy and asked him to free Kasimuddin. Shibli told Habib that in reply Nizami told Kasimuddin’s wife “Tell your husband to give training to the freedom fighters.” Habib testified that Kasimuddin had given training to students with dummy rifles during the Oshohojog Movement at Pabna Zila School. Continue reading

28 January 2013: ICT 2 Daily Summary – Prosecution Witness 17 documentary evidence

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Muhammad Kamaruzzaman – Direct examination of prosecution witness 17 (Accused Present)

The Tribunal heard the prosecution’s application to submit further evidence in its case under section 9(4) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973.  In addition to extracts from newspapers that refer to the accused Muhammad Kamaruzzaman as a leading figure of the then operational Al-Badar high command, the prosecution also requested the admission of classified documents collected from the Bangladeshi National Security Intelligence (NSI) containing a list of collaborators who were arrested in Dhaka  after the Liberation War for allegedly  assisting the Pakistani Army. The prosecution claims to have obtained the list on 8 March 2012. The Defense is scheduled to make a counter submission regarding the issue tomorrow, following which the tribunal will give its decision as to the admissibility of the evidence.

The prosecution then called for PW-17 Amena Khatun, the Documentation Officer and Departmental Head of Muktijuddho Jadughor (Liberation War Museum).  Continue reading