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ICT done with arguments on retrial petitions

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Date : Monday, 31 December 2012
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Entry Type : News, Uncategorized
Source : http://bdnews24.com/details.php?cid=37&id=239162&hb=5
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Dhaka, Dec 31 (bdnews24.com) — The first war crimes tribunal on Monday completed hearing arguments from both sides on applications for retrial of three Jamaat-e-Islami leaders.

The three-judge International Crimes Tribunal – 1, set up to try crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War, indicted Jamaat guru and former chief Ghulam Azam for five war crimes charges, party chief Motiur Rahman Nizami for 16 and Executive Council Member Delwar Hossain Sayedee for 20 charges.

The flurry of retrial applications came about after former tribunal Chairman, Justice Mohammad Nizamul Huq, resigned in the wake of a controversy centring his association with Ahmed Ziauddin, an international law expert living in Belgium.

It is alleged, based on over 17 hours of leaked Skype conversation and over 200 leaked emails — allegedly between the legal expert and the judge, that the judge had discussed trial proceedings and taken assistance from Ziauddin.

The defence says that Ziauddin was in a position to influence the trial and Justice Huq had allegedly acted at the dictate of this legal expert and even passed orders that Ziauddin had drafted.

Chief defence counsel for Jamaat, also the party’s Assistant General Secretary, Abdur Razzaq, moved the application for Ghulam Azam’s retrial, while Mizanul Islam handled Sayedee’s application. Monday saw Khandker Mahbub Hossain speak on behalf of Nizami.

A senior lawyer and currently Vice Chairman of the bar council, Mahbub Hossain reiterated similar points that the other two Jamaat counsels had already made regarding Skype conversations and email exchanges saying that they clearly indicated that trials were vitiated.

He said that 195 Pakistani military personnel, identified as war criminals, had been repatriated and forgiven. The senior BNP-leaning lawyer said prosecuting the abettors and collaborators having forgiven the principal offenders was not acceptable.

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam who joined forces with the prosecution during the retrial hearings countered that contention drawing a more illustrative analogy. “It is like saying you cannot prosecute me for theft since you did not charge me for robbery.”

It has been a defence contention that the International Crimes Tribunal Act of 1973 was initially enacted for trying military personnel — those 195 sent back to Pakistan by dint of the Simla Agreement — and the Collaborators’ Order of 1972 was drafted to try the abettors of crimes against humanity.

The Attorney General, who has been attending the tribunal proceedings since last week, said referring to the senior lawyer, “He was a prosecutor for trying the collaborators but he has come here today to defend those very men.”

Speaking to the press at the tribunal’s entrance, Mahbubey Alam said, “As the bar council Vice Chairman, one would expect him to be more aware of principles.”

Mahbub Hossain countered saying that the Attorney General was nothing but a mere boy in his vocation.

Prosecutor Syed Haider Ali took the podium and gave his replies to the defence application, which was followed by a rebuttal from senior defence counsel Mizanul Islam.

The tribunal urged BNP MP Salauddin Quader Chowdhury’s counsel to begin moving his applications, of which there are several pending.

The Chittagong MP’s chief counsel Ahsanul Huq said he would rather begin on Tuesday morning since his client had already been sent back to jail — as Chowdhury was suddenly feeling ill. “It is better that he hears us.”

The tribunal eventually relented and agreed to adjourn the proceedings till Tuesday morning.

SQ Chowdhury has filed a number of applications demanding removal of the conducting prosecutor Zead-Al-Malum, initiate contempt proceedings against Law Minister Shafique Ahmed and issuing summons on former tribunal Chairman Justice Huq to testify at the tribunal.

bdnews24.com/ta/nir/2052h


Uploaded By : dr0h33
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