Tag Archives: trial in absentia

24 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – AKM Yusuf Charge Framing Order, Khan and Mueen Uddin PW 5, Alim PW

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Pre-trial Proceedings against AKM Yusuf
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin
  3. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim 

Today Tribunal began by hearing a bail application on behalf of AKM Yusuf. The Defense presented arguments both regarding the necessity of bail, and the insufficiency of the charges proposed against AKM Yusuf by the Prosecution. They argued that the suspect should be discharged as the allegations against him are malafide and inspired by political motivations. The Tribunal also heard the Prosecution’s response. They  scheduled 1 August for issuing their order regarding bail and the potential framing of charges against the suspect. They instructed the jail authorities to submit a report on the availability of their medical facilities and their ability to meet the needs of the suspect while in custody.

The Tribunal then turned to the case of Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin in which the Prosecution  called Prosecution witness 5 to testify in support of Charge 6. As the trials are being conducted in absentia,  state appointed Defense counsel Shukur Khan and Tuny will be allowed to conduct the cross examination at a later date on behalf of Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin respectively.

In the Alim case the Tribunal rejected an application from the Defense requesting additional time due to the illness of senior Defense counsel Ahsanul Huq Hena. A junior Defense attorney stated that Hena is physically unwell and is undergoing treatment at the United Hospital. The Tribunal was critical of the delayed application and stated that it would briefly begin the examination of the Investigation Officer and would continue  it the following day. Thus the tribunal very briefly started recording the examination of the Io, but then fixed 25 July 2013 as the date for recording his entire testimony. Continue reading

23 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Contempt Proceedings, Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Mueen Uddin PWs 3 and 4.

23 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Contempt Proceedings against Prosecution Witness, Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin Cross Examination of PW 3

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Contempt Proceedings against Jahir Uddin Jalal
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin

Jahir Uddin Jalal, a Prosecution witness against whom contempt charges were brought after he allegedly physically assaulted a Defense attorney outside of the High Court, filed an application to recall the order passed by Tribunal on 21 July. The Tribunal’s order disposed of the the charge by cautioning the witness not to engage in similar behavior in the future, without concluding that the incident was definitively committed by him. Jalal opposed the order, alleging that he did not instruct his lawyer Monsur Rashid to propose such a disposal of the matter and that the lawyer had acted without his instruction. Jalal’s newly appointed counsel requested that the order be recalled. The Tribunal accepted the application and recalled the order, scheduling a rehearing of the matter for 29 July.

In the Khan and Mueen Uddin case the Tribunal heard the cross-examination of Prosecution witness 3 as well as the testimony of Prosecution witness 4. The case is scheduled to continue tomorrow, 24 July, with the testimony of Prosecution witness 5. Continue reading

4 August 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Khan and Mueen Uddin PW 9, Alim cross-examination of Investigation Officer

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

Tribunal 2 recorded the testimony of Prosecution witness 9 in the case against Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, both of whom are being tried in absentia. Both the examination-in-chief and cross-examination were completed on this day. The testimony of Prosecution witness 9 supports Charge 11 against the accused, pertaining to the killing of physician Dr Alim Chowdhury.

The court also made some progress in the case against Abdul Alim as it continued to record the cross-examination of ZM Altafur Rahman, the Investigation Officer for the case. So far, the Defense counsel has directed their line of questioning at highlighting inconsistencies in the investigation procedures followed by the Investigation Officer. The Tribunal adjourned Alim’s case until 5th August, 2013. Continue reading

21 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Contempt Proceedings, Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Mueen Uddin PW 3

21 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Contempt Proceedings, Ahrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin PW 3

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Contempt Proceedings against Prosecution Witness Jahir Uddin Jalal
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chwodhury Mueen Uddin

Today the Tribunal heard ongoing arguments from both parties in the contempt proceedings against Prosecution witness Jahir Uddin Jalal, who allegedly assaulted defense counsel Mr Munshi Ahsan Kabir outside of the High Court. After consulting the victim of the alleged attack the Tribunal disposed off the matter with and order of caution to the contemnor.

The  Tribunal then moved to the Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin case, in which the Prosecution called Prosecution witness 3 to testimony. State appointed defense attorneys Shukur Khan and Tuny will conduct the cross-examination of the witness on 23 July 2013. Continue reading

24 June 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Mueen Uddin and Khan Charge Framing Order

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan

Today, Tribunal formally read out its Charge Framing Order against the Accused Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan, who are being tried in absentia for their alleged roles during Bangladesh’s War of Liberation in 1971. Both the Accused are outside of Bangladesh and have not appeared before the Tribunal, with Uddin believed to be in London and Ashrafuzzaman in New York. On June 16, 2013, the prosecution read out its formal charges before the Tribunal, and alleged that Mueen Uddin was the “operation-in-charge” of Al-Badr, while Ashrafuzzaman acted as its chief executor. Both of the Accused are thus alleged to have directly participated in the killing of Bengali intellectuals and professionals who were brutally targeted between the 10th and 15th of December, 1971, including journalist Dr. Shahidullah Kaiser. Many individuals were allegedly abducted and tortured by the Accused.

ICT-2 took cognizance of the case after the Prosecution, in the last week of April 2013, pressed charges for crimes under the ICT Act of 1973 against the two Accused. On May 12, 2013, the police submitted an official report to the Tribunal, noting that the two Accused could not be arrested as they resided outside of Bangladesh, Mueen Uddin in the United Kingdom and Ashrafuzzaman in the United States. Having received this report from the police, the Tribunal issued an order to its Registrar’s Office to publish an advertisement in two widely-circulated national dailies requesting the two Accused to appear before the Tribunal within 10 days of its publication, and stating that failure to do so would lead to trial-in-absentia. On May 22, 2013, the Prosecution informed the Tribunal that notices had been published on May 14, 2013 in the Daily Janakantha, and on May 15, 2013 in the Daily Star, asking the Accused to submit to the Tribunal with 10 days of publication. The advertisements did not lead the Accused to appear. Finally, on May 27, 2013, ICT-2 noted that the two Accused have absconded, and accordingly ordered their trial to commence in absentia. Abdus Shukur Khan and Salma Hye Tuni, two advocates of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, were appointed by the Tribunal to serve as counsels to defend both of the Accused.

After hearing the proposed charges were read out by the Prosecution on June 16, 2013, the Tribunal fixed today as the date for to read out the Charge Framing Order. Justice Obaidul Hassan, the Chairman of Tribunal 2, read out the Charge Framing Order in the presence of his fellow Justices Mozibur Rahman Mia and Shahinur Islam.

The full Charge Framing Order is available here: Charge Framing Order for Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan

16 June 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Mueen Uddin and Khan Charges, Alim Cross Examination of PW 24

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1.  Chief Prosecutor vs. Chowdhury Mueen Uuddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

The Prosecution read out the charges against Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan, and the Tribunal fixed June 24, 2013, as the date for delivering the Charge Framing Order.  In the Alim case, Defense counsel Ahsanul Huq Hena concluded the cross examination of Prosecution witness 24. The Prosecution will call its 25th witness on June 17, 2013. Continue reading

22 May 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Mujahid Closing Arguments, Alim PW 21, Pre-trial issues and contempt

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Contempt Proceedings Against Selim Uddin
  2. Syed Md Qaisar: Bail Application
  3. Chief Prosecutor vs. Md Ashruzzaman Khan and  Moinuddin
  4. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid – Defense Closing Arguments
  5. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim – Cross-Examination of PW 21

The Tribunal deferred the contempt proceedings against Selim Uddin until 28 May 2013 for further order. It then moved on to hear the bail application filed on behalf of Syed Md Qaisar who is currently under investigation for war crimes and related offences that may have been committed during the 1971 War of Liberation. Mr Qaisar, a former BNP leader and a subsequent policy maker of President HM Ershad’s cabinet was arrested on a warrant issued by Tribunal-2 on 15 May 2013. Upon hearing the bail application, the court took a brief recess of twenty minutes before finally rejecting the application. Mr Qaisar was then sent to jail.

The Prosecution team in the cases against Md Ashrafuzaman Khan alias Nayeb Ali and Moinuddin notified the Tribunal that they had followed its order and published a notification in two widely circulated national dailies asking the two defendants to appear before the Tribunal. The notice was published on 14 May 2013 in the Daily Janakantha and on 15 May in the Daily Star. The notification announced that failure to appear within 10 days of such publication would result in the court ordering trials-in-absentia, as was done in the case of Abul Kalam Azad. The Tribunal stated that they would hear the case next on  27 May 2013.

In the case of Mujahid the Defense began their Closing Arguments. They began with arguments regarding the evidentiary aspects of the case and stated that senior Defense counsel Abdur Razzak will be later address the relevant legal arguments.

Finally, the Defense counsel for Abdul Alim conducted the cross-examination of Prosecution witness 21. They primarily attacked the credibility of the witness and accused him of providing false testimony. The Defense further suggested that the witness provide the same testimony to the Investigation Officer during his original interview.  Continue reading