Sunday, October 30, 2011

4 Oct 2011: SQ Chowdhury report

The notes from this hearing are based on media reports as I was not present at the tribunal.

At the hearing, the prosecutor Zead-Al-Malum told the tribunal that the investigation agency had submitted to it an investigation report relating to BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, in which it was alleged that he committed crimes against humanity and genocide during the 1971 war of independence.

He asked for one month's time in order for the prosecution to look at the report and press charges.

The tribunal accepted the plea and set November 14 as the date to press charges.

On 3 October, the Investigating officer Nurul Islam had submitted a 119-page report with around 8,000 pages of supporting documents including statements of witnesses, victims and their families, to the chief prosecutor of the International Crimes Tribunal Gholam Arif Tipu.

Nurul Islam had previously told a press conference that Salahuddin is alleged to have been involved in 32 specific incidents which he said had been 'proved preliminarily'.

He is quoted as saying that "The crimes he had committed include killing civilians, abduction, rape, torture etc."

"It's proved in primary investigation that he had taken part directly in crimes against humanity [to be charged] under the ICT Rule 3 (2) and genocide under 3 (2) B of the ICT Rule. He had also taken part indirectly in organising and plotting the crimes [to be charged] under the ICT Rule 3 (2) C."

"A list of the murdered people has also been finalised," the investigator said.

1. Salauddin Quader Chowdhury is the only one of the seven detained men who has not sought legal representation. It is clear, from watching the defence lawyer represent the other accused, that Chowdhury is going to significantly prejudice himself unless he gets a lawyer.

2. It is notable that in all the recent hearings involving his case, Chowdhury is not present in the tribunal. It remains unclear whether this is because he refuses to attend or the tribunal does not ask for his presence because of how he has behaved when he has come to the tribunal in the past. See this for example, 'What to do about SQC'. to see details of other hearing about Chowdhury, click here

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