Tag Archives: skype

22 August 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Abdus Sobhan Pre Trial Proceedings, Contempt Proceedings against Human Rights Watch

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Pre-trial Proceedings against Abdus Sobhan
  2. Contempt Proceedings against Human Rights Watch

On 19 August 2013, Prosecution in the case against Abdus Sobhan filed an application requesting permission to interrogate the suspect in the safe home under Rule 16(1) of the Rules of Procedure. The Defense submitted a written objection against the application. Today the Tribunal heard arguments from both sides regarding the application. The Prosecution submitted that the investigation is in its final stage but asserted that for proper and effective investigation the Investigation Officer is required to interrogate the accused. The Prosecution further argued that for total verification, interrogation in the safe house is necessary.

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18 July 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Hartal Limited Coverage

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Investigation of Zahid Hossain Khokon
  2. Contempt Proceedings – The Economist: Adam Roberts and Others
  3. Investigation of ATM Azharul Islam
  4. Investigation of Mir Qasem Ali
  5. Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowhdury

Today the Tribunal 1 issued a warrant for the arrest of Zahid Hossain Khokon after taking cognizance of the charges brought against him. July 30 is scheduled for the hearing of the charges.

The Tribunal then addressed ongoing contempt proceedings against Adam Roberts as the South Asian Bureau Chief of the Economist. On 6 December 2012, the former chairman of the Tribunal announced that he had been called by a person from the Economist and asked for verification regarding alleged skype conversations with foreign legal expert and activist Ahmed Ziauddin. Subsequently the Tribunal issued an order for the Economist to show cause for their ‘interference with the ongoing trial and violating the privacy of a judge.’ On 25 March 2013, Mustafizur Rahman submitted a written reply on behalf of Economist. Today, 18 July 2013, Tribunal heard arguments from both Roberts’ representative and the Prosecution. They fixed 27 August for passing the Tribunal’s order on the matter.

The Prosecution submitted the Formal Charge against ATM Azharul Islam to the Office of the Registrar and informed the Tribunal. The Tribunal set 24 July for the decision of taking cognizance of charges.

Today was fixed for the charge hearing against Mir Qasem Ali. However, the Defense sought six weeks time for additional preparation. The Tribunal scheduled the hearing for 25 July.

In the Chowdhury case the cross-examination of the Defense Witness 3, Qayyum Reza Chowdhury, was also scheduled. However the Defense requested an adjournment. The Tribunal allowed the prayer and fixed 21 July for cross-examination of the witness.

19 May 2013: ICT 2 Daily Summary – Contempt Charge Dismissed against Ziauddin

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Contempt Proceedings Against Ahmed Ziauddin

Today Tribunal 2 passed an order in the contempt proceedings against Ahmed Ziauddin, disposing off the matter but making an official observation. The contempt proceedings were initiated suo moto by the Tribunal on 3 January 2013, following the leakage of Skype conversations between the former Chairman of Tribunal 1 and Ziauddin, a Brussels based legal expert and pro-trial activist. News of the Skype controversy was first reported by The Economist. The Tribunal brought charges of contempt against The Economist, which are still pending. The complete conversations were then printed by the local Daily Amar Desh, which has been shut down by the government following the arrest of its chief editor Mr Mahmudur Rahman on charges related to the Skype controversy. The Tribunal took the contents of the conversation into judicial notice during the hearing of a defense application praying for a retrial in the interest of justice. All applications for retrial were rejected. However, in that ruling the Tribunal noted that if the comments allegedly made by Ziauddin were authentic, they cast the International Crimes Tribunal in negative light by making it look like it lacked independence and was a dictated body. The Tribunal was also critical about Ziauddin’s alleged comments regarding Judge Shahinur Islam, a judge of Tribunal-2, and termed the same as completely unacceptable.

Upon the request of the Tribunal Mr Ahmed Ziauddin submitted his written explanation through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs  after about four and a half months. Today the Tribunal disposed off the contempt proceedings and decided that they would not proceed with them any further. The Tribunal stated that the truthfulness of the leaked conversations cannot be determined and also noted that Ziauddin neither admitted nor denied the allegations. Nevertheless, the Tribunal observed that it would be unjust to arrive at a decision in regards the authenticity of the Skype documents based on evidence which in itself has been obtained illegally through hacking. The contempt matter against the Brussels based expert has thus been closed and the judges stated in its judgment that it merited no further steps.

The court then adjourned for the day.

12 May 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Mujahid Prosecution Closing Arguments, Moinuddin and Khan Pre-Trial

Due to a national hartal our researchers were unable to attend proceedings today. Our coverage is therefore gathered from media sources and conversations with the Prosecution and Defense.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid
  2. Pre-trial of Chowdhury Moinuddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan

The Prosecution continued Closing Arguments in the Mujahid case. They began addressing the evidentiary aspects of the case and Charges 1 and 2.

Under Charge 1 Mujahid is accused of the abduction and subsequent murder of Mr Seraj Uddin Hossain, who was the then Executive Editor of the Daily Ittefaq. Mujahid is charged with abduction and murder as Crimes Against Humanity, under section 3(2)(a) of the ICT Act. Prosecution witness 4 testified in support of the charge. It is additionally alleged that Mr. Chowdhury Moinuddin and Mr Ashrafuzzaman Khan, who have recently been separately indicted, partnered with Mujahid, members of Al-Badr and the Pakistani Army in the commission of these crimes.

Charge 2 alleges that Mujahid commited persecution as a Crime Against Humanity and Genocide in conjunction with attacks committed in Baidyadangi, Majhidangi and Baladanga. He is charged under section 3(2)(a) and Section 3(2)(c) of the ICT Act. Prosecution witnesses 6, 8, 9, 10 and 11 supported the allegations within Charge 2. It is alleged that Mujahid committed the alleged crimes with the assistance and participation of Abul Kalam Azad, Hammad Maolana, Gofur Rajakar, Jahangir Razakar, Kalu Bihari and other members of the Pakistani Army, the Razakars, Al-Badr, the Peace Committee and members of the Bihari community.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Chowdhury Moinuddin and Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan
The Tribunal also addressed the cases against Chowdhury Moinuddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan. The Police submitted an official report stating that they had been unable to arrest the accused because they are out of country, Moinuddin residing in the United Kingdom and Ashrafuzzaman in the United States. The Tribunal then issued an order to the Office of the Registrar requesting them to publish an advertisement in two widely circulated national dailies asking the two Accused to appear before the Tribunal within 10 days of its publication, failing which a trial-in-absentia will be conducted.

Administrative Issues:
Brussels based legal expert Ahmed Ziauddin who allegedly conducted inappropriate Skype conversations regarding the proceedings with the former Chairman of Tribunal 1, submitted his response to contempt proceedings against him in compliance with the Tribunal 2’s order of 3 January 2013. The submission was received by the Registrar of the ICT through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The matter will soon appear in the Daily Cause List of the Tribunal for further order.

3 – 4 March 2013: ICT 1 and 2 Daily Summary – Brief Summaries Due to Hartal

A three day hartal has been called in Bangladesh. For safety reasons our researchers are unable to attend proceedings on hartal days. We have compiled the following brief summary from media coverage and communication with the Defense and Prosecution.

TRIBUNAL 1 SUMMARY

3 March 2013
Investigation of Mir Quasem Ali

On March 3, 2013 Prosecutor Sultan Mahmud Simon submitted the progress report of the Investigation of Mir Quasem Ali and sought two months time to submit the formal charge. The Tribunal fixed April 24 for the submission of the formal charge.

Quasem Ali was brought to the ICT but was not produced before the Tribunal during the hearing.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam
The Defense sought adjournment on behalf of Gholam Azam. Prosecutor Zead-al-Malum opposed the petition. The Tribunal rejected the Defense petition and asked the Prosecution to continue their Closing Arguments. Thereafter the Prosecution submitted their the Closing Arguments for the 9th day.

4 March 2013:
Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Quader Chowdhury
March 4 was fixed for recording the testimony of Prosecution witness 21; however, Prosecutor Zead-al-Malum submitted that the Prosecution could not produce the witness today. Thereafter the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the Salauddin Quader Chowdhury’s case until 12 March 2013.

Salauddin Quader Chowdhury was brought to the ICT but was not produced before the Tribunal.

 Contempt Proceedings against the Economist
On December 6, 2012 Tribunal 1 issued a notice asking them the Economist to show cause why contempt charges should not be brought against South Asian bureau chief Adam Roberts and the chief editor of the London based weekly. The Tribunal accused them of interfering with the ongoing trial and violating the privacy of a judge in conjunction with the alleged Skype controversy. The Economist was initially asked to reply within three weeks. On 3 February 2013 the Tribunal fixed 4 March 2013 for the submission of the Economist’s reply. On 4 March 2013 Barrister Mustafizur Rahman submitted that he has not yet received the written reply from his clients and sought two weeks additional time to submit the reply. The Tribunal accepted his prayer and fixed 25 March 2013 for the next hearing.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam
The Prosecution placed their arguments on legal points in the Gholam Azam case and completed their Closing Arguments. Thereafter, the Tribunal asked the Defense to begin their closing arguments, but no senior defence counsel was present at the Tribunal. A junior Defense counsel sought one week adjournment for preparation, however, the Tribunal fixed 7 March 2013 for Defence closing arguments.

TRIBUNAL 2 SUMMARY
[We are compiling a summary of events in Tribunal for this week and will post information once it is complete]

Weekly Digest: Issue 3 – February 3-7 2013

This week was dominated by the second Judgment of the ICT, issued by Tribunal 2 in the case of Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Qader Molla. The Judgment was issued on February 5th. The Accused was found guilty of 5 of 6 charges, all counts of crimes against humanity. Closing arguments in the case were completed on January 17, 2012. The Judgment was issued less than three weeks after the close of the case. Qader Molla was sentenced to life imprisonment. This report contains detailed analysis of the verdict and the factual and legal conclusions contained within it.

Tribunal 1 heard matters in the Gholam Azam, Nizami, and Chowdhury cases as well as a request from The Economist for additional time to respond to contempt proceedings related to its publication of the alleged Skype and email conversations between the former Chairman and expatriate Bangladeshi lawyer, Ahmed Ziauddin. In addition to issuing the Qader Molla Judgment, Tribunal 2 also dealt with ongoing contempt proceedings against Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir and BNP leader MK Anwar, and issued an Order to Jamaat to explain comments made by its Central Executive member and Assistant Secretary General of Dhaka or face contempt.

Read the full weekly report here: Weekly Digest, Issue 3 – Feb 3-7

3 Feb 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Contempt Proceedings, Witness Testimony in Gholam Azam and Nizami

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Contempt Proceedings Against the Economist
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs Ghulam Azam – Defense witness 1 testimony (Accused not Present)
  3. Chief Prosecutor vs Motiur Rahman Nizami – Prosecution witness 2 (Accused Present)

On February 3, 2013 Mustafizur Rahman requested 4 weeks of adjournment on behalf of the Economist to reply to the 6 December 2012 Tribunal order in which the former Chairman of ICT-1 issued an order to show cause for contempt in relation to their reporting of alleged Skype and email conversations between the Chairman and foreign legal expert Ahmed Ziauddin. The Tribunal granted Mr. Rahman and the Economist a month and fixed the next date for hearing as 3 March 2013.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam
On February 3, 2013 Defense witness 1, Abdullahil Amaan Azmi, a former Army personnel and the son of accused Gholam Azam provided testimony. He introduced several documents as exhibits. He exhibited photocopies of reports published in the Don newspaper dated from February 12 to October 28, 1971 and photocopies of reports published in the Pakistan Observer dated from April 1 to July 29, 1971.

While Defense was exhibiting the newspapers Prosecution raised an objection regarding the context of the newspaper reports. The Tribunal however declined to consider the objection. The Prosecution then stated that they would file an application regarding their objection. The Defense witness then exhibited photocopies of two photos against the objection of the Prosecution. He also exhibited photocopies of Bangladesher Sadhinota Juddho Dolilpotro (published in June 1984 vol-10); Bangladesh Document 1971 (Part-3); Shanti Committee 1971 (Published in February 2012) a book written by Muntasir Mamun; and Judhoporad, Gonohottha and Bicharer Oneshon (published in May 2001) a book written by Dr M A Hasan. The Defense witness also exhibited a Office Memo No. 164(10)/con Dated May 25, 1971, regarding the appointment of the Razzakars. The Defense witness also exhibited a video clipping of a talk show ‘Shoja Kotha’ aired by Desh TV on May 14, 2012 and a video clipping of a program ‘Ronogoner Dinguli’ aired by BTV on April 20, 2012.

Abdullahil Amaan Azmi testified that the Language Movement started after 1947 and that between 1948 and 1954 Gholam Azam went to prison three times for his leadership in Language Movement. Azmi alleged that by eliminating Gholam Azam’s contribution from the history of Language Movement, the history of language Movement has been distorted. He further alleged that in a similar way over the last 41 years the history of Independence has been distorted and the involvement of Gholam Azam with the Liberation War has been repainted in a negative manner.

Azmi stated that in 1971 Gholam Azam was one of 130 members of the Peace Committee. But Azmi asserted that Gholam Azam was not of official status within the Peace Committee. He alleged that in the last 41 years no action has been brought against any of the official members of Peace Committee including the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Joint Secretary, but nonetheless proceedings have been brought against the unofficial members of the Peace Committee for committing the alleged crimes. He claimed that the prosecution against Gholam Azam was brought only for political reasons and was designed to undermine him.

Thereafter, Prosecutor Haider Ali started to cross-examine Azmi. During the cross-examination he admitted that Moin E U Ahmed was the only Four Star General and that General Mostafizur Rahman was a honorary Four Star General.

The Tribunal then adjourned the case until Monday February 4, 2013

 Chief Prosecutor vs Motiur Rahman Nizami
In the Nizami case the Defense conducted cross-examination of prosecution witness 2, Zohiruddin Jalal alias Bishu Jalal, a former Freedom Fighter. During the cross-examination Zohiruddin Jalal admitted that it is possible to become a member of Muktijudha Songshod (an organization of freedom fighters) at any time. He admitted that he became the member of Muktijudha Songshod in 2005 and he could not remember his membership no. He stated said that former President Ershad first published a list of freedom fighters and then from 1991 to 1996 a voter list of freedom fighter was published. A freedom fighter’s list was also published by the Awami League. Jalal admitted that his name was not on the list of freedom fighters. He said that he applied to include his name in the voter list of Muktijudha Songsod as a member of Central Command Council in 1992. He said that he was the 35th member of Muktijudha Songsod. He admitted that those who are not a member of Muktijudha Songsod do not have a right to include their name in the voter list of Muktijudha Songsod.

Jalal said that he took admission in Westend School in 1970 in the 8th class. He could not continue his education into the 9th class in 1971 due to the Liberation War. He said that he passed SSC with second class in 1972 as a private student of Saleha School. He admitted that he could not remember the name of the subjects he took in SSC examinations. After that he took admission in Jogonnath College.

Jalal stated that during the Liberation War he used to read the Daily Purbo Desh but did not like to read the Shongram. He said that on August 29, 1971 he heard from someone that a report was published in Songram stating that some miscreants (Shongram used to describe freedom fighters as miscreants) were captured with arms and hearing this news he went to the Police Station with his uncle Bahauddin. He admitted that he saw 20 to 25 people there. He admitted that while testifying in Tribunal-2 he mistakenly said that he saw Rumi, Boudi, Jweal, Azhar, Chullu vai, Altaf Mahbub there (in the police station) due to the time gap of 41 years. He admitted that his first interview regarding Liberation War was published in the magazine of Westend School in 1972 or 1973. He admitted that his interviews were published in different newspapers including the Daily Prothom Alo and the Daily Jonokhontho, however, as far his knowledge none of his interviews were not published in Ittefaq, Azad or Purbo Desh. He said that he did not know whether his interview was published in any books or not. He said that he has given interviews to the Investigation Officer Razzak on two occasions. He stated that the commander of Bisshu Bahini was Shojib and he (Jalal) was given the title of Bisshu from Major Khaled Mosharrof, Commander of sector-2. He admitted that Razzakar of the Romna Police Station area was Gurha and that there was no Peace Committee in Savar.