Tag Archives: Verdict

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

17 July 2013: Mujahid Found Guilty of 4 Charges – Sentenced to Death

Today Tribunal 2 issued its fourth verdict in the case of Chief Prosecutor vs. Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid. It is the sixth verdict issued by the International Crimes Tribunal. The Tribunal found Mujahid guilty of four of seven charges: specifically Charges 3, 5, 6 (which the Tribunal combined with Charge 1, because both stem from the same events), and 7. He was acquitted of Charges 2 and 4.

The Charges and the Verdict:

  • Charge 1: Abetting Abduction as a Crime Against Humanity, or in the alternative, abetting murder as a Crime Against Humanity. This charge was combined with Charge 6 as the Tribunal felt that both pertained to the same incident, the massacre of the Bangladeshi intellectual community in December of 1971.
  • Charge 2: Persecution as a Crime Against Humanity, or in the alternative, for abetting Genocide by participating in an attack on the Hindu villages of Baidyadangi, Majhidangi and Baladangi. Charged under Section 3(2)(c)(g) of the Act and Sections 4(1) and 4(2). Acquitted.
  • Charge 3: Confinement as a Crime Against Humanity for his role in the confinement and torture of Ranji Nath, alias Babu Nath. Found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment for five years.
  • Charge 4: Abetting the crime of Confinement and causing Inhumane Acts as Crimes against Humanity under Section 3(2)(a)(g) for his alleged involvement in the abduction and torture of Abu Yusuf. Acquitted.
  • Charge 5: Abetting murder as a Crime Against Humanity for ordering the killing of detainees at the army camp at old MP Hostel, Nakhalpara, Dhaka. Found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment for life.
  • Charge 6: Abetting murder as a Crime Against Humanity, or in the alternative, abetting Genocide against the intellectual group. Charged under Section 3(2)(c)(g) read with Sections 4(1) and 4(2). Found guilty and sentenced to death in conjunction with Charge 7.
  • Charge 7: Participating in and Facilitating the commission of Murder as a Crime Against Humanity, or in the alternative, for persecution as a Crime Against Humanity, for his roll in an attack on the Hindu community on 13 May 1971. Found guilty and sentenced to death in conjunction with Charge 6.

The Tribunal noted that it considered Mujahid’s “superior position of authority on the Al-Badar force together with the intrinsic gravity and degree and pattern of criminal acts” as aggravating factors that further justified the death sentence.

The full judgment can be found here: Mujahid Judgment

Additionally, we will be publishing our full summary of the case and the Tribunal’s conclusions in the near future. Please check back frequently for updates. 

15 July 2013: Gholam Azam Found Guilty – Sentenced to 90 years

Today Tribunal 1 issued its second verdict in the case of Chief Prosecutor vs. Professor Gholam Azam. It is the second verdict issued by Tribunal 1 and the fifth verdict issued by the International Crimes Tribunal. The Tribunal found Gholam Azam guilty of all five charges against him.

The Charges and the Verdict:

  • Charge 1: Six Counts of Conspiracy to Commit Crimes under Section 3(2) of the ICT Act. Found guilty and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
  • Charge 2: Three Counts of Planning to Commit Crimes under Section 3(2) of the ICT Act. Found guilty and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
  • Charge 3: Twenty-eight counts of Incitement to Commit Crimes under Section 3(2) of the ICT Act. Found guilty and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.
  • Charge 4: Twenty-tree counts of Complicity in Crimes under Section 3(2) of the ICT Act. Found guilty and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.
  • Charge 5: Murder and Torture as Crimes against Humanity under Section 3(2)(a) of the ICT Act. The Charge alleged that Gholam Azam directed Peyara Miah, a member of the Peace Committee, to kill Siru Mia and his son because they were freedom fighters. Found guilty and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.

The Tribunal noted that it took Gholam Azam’s age (he is 91 years old) and ill health into account when determining his sentencing. They stated that he would serve the terms of imprisonment consecutively, guaranteeing that he will die in jail.

Charges 1-4 alleged that Gholam Azam was liable either under Section 4(1), which provides for a form of constructive liability (where, when a crime is committed by several persons, each will be liable as if he was the sole perpetrator), and Section 4(2), which provides for liability under the Doctrine of Command Responsibility. Charge 5 alleged direct individual responsibility for murder and torture, and does not mention any of the forms of liability enumerated under Section 4 of the Act.

From comments made during the Tribunal’s announcement of its verdict, it appears that for Charges 1-4 Gholam Azam was found guilty on the basis of Command Responsibility. The Prosecution had argued that Gholam Azam, as the Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami, controlled the organizational framework of Islami Chatra Sangha and played the pivotal role in forming the Shanti (Peace) Committee, Razakars, Al-Badr, and Al-Shams. Therefore they claimed that he was liable for all of the crimes committed by the members of those groups. They further alleged that Gholam Azam exercised Command Responsibility over the members of the Shanti (Peace) Committee, Razakars, Al-Badr, and Al-Shams, and that, even though he was a civilian, Gholam Azam had influence over the Pakistani Army. The Defense disagreed that Section 4(2) could be applied to Gholam Azam because he was a civilian and they claimed that the Doctrine of Command Responsibility is applicable only to leaders of military and auxiliary forces.

For a detailed discussion of the Gholam Azam case and the evidence presented by both parties please refer to our Special Report: Special Issue No. 3 – Gholam Azam Case Summary

Additionally, we will be posting the judgment here on our website once we receive the official copy from the court. We will also publish summary of the Tribunal’s legal conclusions once we have reviewed the Judgment in full.

14 July 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Gholam Azam Verdict Tomorrow, Abdus Sobhan Investigation Report, Mobarak Hossain PW 6

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Investigation of Abdus Sobhan
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Mobarak Hossain
  3. Chief Prosecutor vs. Gholam Azam

In the investigation of Abdus Sobhan the Prosecution submitted a progress report and requested additional time. The Tribunal granted the request and adjourned the proceedings of the case until 19 August 2013.

In the Mobarak Hossain case, the Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief of Abdul Malek, Prosecution Witness 6, who testified in support of charge 5. Thereafter, Defense Counsel sought time saying that Defense were not informed about the witness earlier. The Tribunal granted the request and the adjourned proceedings in the case until 16 July 2013.

Today, 14 July 2013, the Gholam Azam case was included in the cause list as item 4. The Tribunal passed an order stating that the judgment of this case has been prepared and will be issued tomorrow, 15 July 2013. Senior Defense Counsel Abdur Razzak informed the Tribunal that Gholam Azam is ill and requested permission for him to remain at the hospital tomorrow where he has received treatment throughout his detention. The Tribunal refused the request, stating that it is the right of the Accused to hear the judgment against him.

Special Report Issue 2: Detailed Summary of Kamaruzzaman Case and Verdict

We are pleased to release our second Special Issue Report on the Verdict in the Kamaruzzaman case. For a full pdf of the report please read here: Special Issue No. 2 – Kamaruzzaman Verdict

This special report provides a detailed summary of the International Crimes Tribunal’s fourth verdict, the Judgment in Chief Prosecutor vs. Md. Kamaruzzaman. The verdict was issued on 9 May 2013 and was the third verdict to be issued by Tribunal 2. We have attempted to distill the major conclusions expressed by the Tribunal into a digestible format. We have reported on the documentary and witness evidence used to support each distinct charge, general arguments made by both parties, and the conclusions reached by the Tribunal. For the sake of length we have focused this report on the factual and charge specific findings within the Judgment. We will be publishing a supplementary report regarding the legal conclusions made in the Judgment that have particular bearing on the ongoing proceedings. This report does not critically analyze the legal merits of the Judgment. It is presented simply in order to facilitate broader access to and understanding of the ICT’s proceedings and conclusions.

Kamaruzzaman was found guilty on 5 of 7 Charges, specifically Charges 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7. He was acquitted of Charges 5 and 6. All of the Charges alleged direct commission of Crimes Against Humanity or, in the alternative, complicity in Crimes Against Humanity. The Prosecution additionally argued that Kamaruzzaman could be found liable under the doctrine of Command Responsibility under Section 4(2). However, he was convicted solely of complicity in Crimes Against Humanity under Section 4(1) of the Act.  On the basis of Charges 3 and 4 he was sentenced to death. The Tribunal noted that charges 1 and 7 merited a life sentence, while Kamaruzzaman was sentenced to ten years imprisonment under charge 2. All lesser sentences were merged into the death sentence.

Please read the entire report here: Special Issue No. 2 – Kamaruzzaman Verdict

9 May 2013: Kamaruzzaman Guilty Verdict

Tribunal 2 of the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh has found Kamaruzzaman guilty on 5 of 7 charges. He was found guilty on charges 1,2,3,4 and 7, acquitted of charges 5 and 6. He has been sentenced to death based on charges 3 and 4. The Tribunal noted that charges 1 and 7 carried a life sentence, while he was sentenced to ten years imprisonment under charge 2. All the charges were for direct involvement and complicity in Crimes Against Humanity.

The full Judgment may be viewed here: Kamaruzzaman Full Judgment

Profile of Mohammad Kamaruzzaman
The Prosecution alleged that Kamaruzzaman, who in 1971 was 19 years of age, established the paramilitary force of Al-Badr in the district of Mymensingh. The force is thought to have committed genocide, killings, rape, looting, arson and enforced deportation throughout the region in collaboration with the Pakistani Army. Kamaruzzaman was the President of Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student branch of Jamaat-e-Islami, during the war. He was appointed as Joint Secretary of the Dhaka City Jamaat-e-Islami in 1981 and served as Publicity Secretary for the party between 1983 and 1991. He became Assistant Secretary General in 1992.

Procedural History
Investigation into Kamaruzzaman’s involvement in the commission of Crimes against Humanity and Genocide during the liberation war began with a formal probe on 21 July 2011. He was arrested in conjunction with the case on 2 August 2011. The Prosecution submitted their proposed Formal Charge on 15 May, and the case was subsequently transferred from ICT-1 to ICT-2. Tribunal 2 took cognizance of the charges on 31 January 2012 and issued the Charge Framing Order indicting Kamaruzzaman on 4 June 2012. The trial began on 2 July 2012. The Prosecution called 18 witnesses in support of their case. The Defense was limited by the Tribunal to 5 witnesses. Witness testimony was completed on 24 March 2013. Closing Arguments were complete on 16 April 2013. The verdict comes just over three weeks after the termination of proceedings.

The Charges: The Charges in red indicate a guilty verdict. See here for the Original Charge Framing Order.

  1. Murder, Torture and Other Inhuman Acts as Crimes Against Humanity and Complicity in Such Crimes: for leading a group of Al-Badr in abducting civilian Badiuzzaman who was tortured and then killed. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act. Sentenced to life imprisonment
  2. Inhuman Acts as Crimes Against Humanity and Complicity in Such Crimes:  Sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for attacking, forcibly shaving and whipping Syed Abdul Hannan, the Principal of Sherpur College. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.
  3. Murder as a Crime Against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime:  Sentenced to death for advising and facilitating members of Al-Badr and Razakars in the massacre and rape of unarmed civilians in Shohagpur. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act. Some media sources have stated that Kamaruzzaman was convicted of Genocide under Charge 3. This is incorrect, the Charge Framing Order alleges murder as a Crime Against Humanity and the Charge was not amended to Genocide.
  4. Murder as a Crime against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime: Sentenced to death for the shooting of Golam Mostafa and Abul Kasem at Serih Bridge, causing the death of Golam Mostafa. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.
  5. Murder as a Crime against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime: Acquitted for the abduction and torture of Md. Liakat Ali and Mujibur Rahman Janu, and their ultimate murder behind the Ahammad Nagar UP office. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.
  6. Murder as a Crime against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime: Acquitted for the abduction of Tunu and Jahangir and subsequent torture and death of Tunu. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.
  7. Murder as a Crime against Humanity and Complicity in Such a Crime: Sentenced to life imprisonment for accompanying members of Al-Badr on a raid of the house of Tepa Mia in Golpajan Road the ultimate killing of six other unarmed civilians with a bayonet. Charged under Section 3(2)(a)(h) of the ICT Act.

Legal Conclusions:
The Judgment followed closely the legal conclusions made in Tribunal 2’s Judgments against Kalam Azad Bachu and Qader Molla, as well as Tribunal 1’s decision against Delwar Hossain Sayedee. However, this case also addressed in detail the role of Jamaat-e-Islami in the commission of atrocities during the liberation war. There is some thought that this verdict could be used as the basis for banning the current Jamaat-e-Islami as a political party. A writ is currently pending before the High court requesting that the party be banned.

The full Judgment may be viewed here: Kamaruzzaman Full Judgment

Additionally, we will be publishing an in depth report on the factual and legal conclusions contained in the verdict. Please check this website for updates.

Weekly Digest Issue 6: February 24-28

We apologize that we are slightly behind in our weekly digests of the proceedings. Due to limited staff and unforeseen obstacles, including hartals, we have had some delays in our coverage. Our daily summaries are up to date and we hope to have our weekly digests up to date shortly as well. Thank you for your patience.

Please find below our Weekly Digest Issue 6, covering the week of February 24-28. This week was dominated by the announcement of the verdict in Chief Prosecutor vs. Delwar Hossain Sayedee on 28 February 2013, in which Sayedee was found guilty of 8 charges and sentenced to death. For a detailed report on the Judgment against Sayedee please see our Special Issue Report, available here.

In addition to issuing the Sayedee Judgment, Tribunal 1 also continued to hear the Prosecution’s Closing Arguments in the Gholam Azam case, and the Prosecution submitted Formal Charges against Mubarak Hossain. Tribunal 2 heard proceedings in the Kamaruzzaman, Abdul Alim and Mujahid cases, as well as contempt proceedings.

The Weekly Digest is accessible here: Weekly Digest, Issue 6 – Feb 24-28