SQ Chy rates tribunal first class

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Date : Tuesday, 23 October 2012
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Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, who is standing trial over 23 charges of war crimes, on Tuesday rated the standards of proceedings at first war crimes tribunal ‘first class.’

The senior BNP politician, who on numerous occasions criticised the tribunal questioning its standards, expressed his satisfaction after he was allowed to consult his counsel in the middle of the cross-examination of a prosecution witness by the defence.

“First class,” said Salauddin Quader as his counsel questioned Nazimuddin Ahmed, 59, a freelance journalist.

He made the comment sitting in the docket after one of the three members of International Crimes Tribunal-1, set up for trying crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War, asked if he was satisfied with the tribunal’s role.

The BNP MP, who rarely speaks in low-pitched voice, screamed raising some points as the cross-examination of Ahmed continued after the lunch recess. He wanted his lawyer to get a number of points the witness had made the previous day verified.

The tribunal’s Chairman, Justice Mohammed Nizamul Huq suggested Salauddin Quader explain to his counsel what he really wanted to say and not to get excited.

He talked to his lawyer, Ahsanul Haque Hena, who cross examined the witness in line with his client’s requirements.

Salauddin Quader sat calmly and made the reply when the judges enquired if everything was okay.

On Monday, Ahmed said Salauddin Quader and his siblings used to poke fun at freedom fighters tortured at Good’s Hill in 1971, the Chittagong hilltop residence of the Chowdhurys.

Salauddin Quader was arrested last year and the tribunal indicted him in April this year.

The court fixed Oct 31 for the next date of hearing the case.

Delwar Hossain Sayedee

One of the witnesses originally named by the prosecution appeared as a witness for Jamaat –e-Islami executive council member Delwar Hossain Sayedee on Tuesday.

Ganesh Chandra Saha, 51, whom the prosecution failed to produce though they had him on its list of witnesses, said he came to tell the tribunal that his mother, Bhagirothhi Saha, was killed in 1971 by Pakistan Army, not by Sayedee.

He also dismissed the prosecution’s suggestion that he had been bought by the defence.

The prosecution urged the tribunal to record his statement as someone who left his party for favouring the opposition. The tribunal maintained that it would give its view on the matter in judgement.

The prosecution and defence are set to begin their argument in the case on Nov 5.

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