Monday, July 23, 2012

5 Jul 2012: Azam 1st witness cross exam, day 4

Tribunal One

The tribunal started with a continuation of the cross examination of the first prosecution witness Muntassir Mamum who gave evidence against Golam Azam

Justice Nizamul Huq: Mr. Mizan please start in a hurry. We expect that- you will complete the cross examination within this day.
Defence: Whether there was any specific structure of Peace Committee?

Witness: There were some specific directions of Peace Committee, by which members used to run their activities. So the question is not relevant here.

Defence: You are stating that there were some specific directions of Peace Committee- now tell me who has made that code of directions?

Witness: The directions were being made at the meeting of Central and executive committees and the Government supported that.

Defence: What were the directions made out of the first meeting of the Central Peace Committee?

Witness: Is it relevant to ask me that?

Defence: No you are supposed to answer, as you are a historian.

Witness: I am not bound to answer. I have not come here to give a statement in a murder case.

Justice AKM Zaheer Ahmed: Mr. Mamun the counsel might have asked the question from the 4 books as you have mentioned in your examination in chief.

Witness: I am feeling helpless. I think there is no rule to give instructions to a person who is standing at the witness dock.
Zead Al Malum: The right of the witness must be protected. He should not be imposed with any sort of instruction.

Defence: Since December, 2011 when I have started working as a defence counsel here, there is no single instance that I have dishonored any witness. Even in a case where the Prosecutor has mentioned a witness as a beggar in their document, I have asked him during the cross examination- “you have no profession”. I have avoided mentioning him as a beggar from the Prosecution document. Now, here the witness Mr. Mamun has stated about the relevant facts that- “as a researcher I have watched, heard and told.” So, now I can pose him with any relevant question My Lord.

Justice Nizamul Huq: Don’t be agitated Mr. Mizan, we have not seen him in such an angry mood in any day.

Defence: I have fully gone through the full ICT Acts and Rules. There is no scope for the applicability of the CRPC and Evidence Act.

Zyad Al Malum: Here a witness is present, he is not supposed to be posed with any sorts of instructions.

Mizanul Islam: As per the law and rules I can ask some questions.

Zead Al Malum: You have to take what the witness is stating.

Justice AKM Zaheer Ahmed: Mr. Malum you have stated that you have to take what the witness is stating at.

Zeyad Al Malum: It is a golden principle that as a witness whatever I am stating by standing at the witness dock, you have to record that.

Justice AKM Zaheer Ahmed: But before that you have stated you have to record what the witness is stating.

Zead Al Malum: My Lord, you might take action under section- 11(3)(b) of the ICT Act.

Justice AKM Zaheer Ahmed: The section states about unreasonable delay.

Defence: The charge involves the incidents of massive number of killing, forcing the people to change religion, a mass number of rapes, etc. So, about the cross examination I would have to say- if the question is not found irrelevant the witness is supposed to answer that.

Justice Nizamul Huq: Okay, lets come down to a settlement. The matter here is decided that the Defence will ask the question and if the Tribunal think it irrelevant it may raise the matter. I will scratch this date in a red mark; because we have never seen you [Mizanur Islam] so excited in your argument. Okay proceed on.
Defence: What were the direction which has been arisen out of the first meeting if the Central Peace Committee?

Witness: I can state the summary as far as I can remember the direction was to destroy the evil-doers-as per their language [who were the freedom fighters].

Defence: From which meeting of Central Peace Committee, the Executive Committee has been formed at?

Witness: As per as I can remember, it has been formed from a meeting within the month April to June, I can’t remember the date.

Defence: Whether you have collected any documentary information about the first meeting of the executive committee?

Witness: During my research, I have mentioned every article from the relevant specific information.

Defence: From whom have you collected the information?

Witness: It has been mentioned in my write ups arisen out of my research.

Defence: On which year your first book on liberation war has been published?

Witness: I can’t remember at this time, because the number of my books is huge.

Defence: Who were present at the first meeting of the executive committee of the Peace Committee?

Witness: Though I can’t name them specifically, but it is yet to be stated that- the Chief of Jamaat-e-Islami Mr. Gholam Azam was present there.

Defence: Which wings of the Peace Committee has received the directions arising out of the first meeting of the executive committee at the onset?

Witness: The directions has been sent over to all the wings of the Peace Committee at the same time.

Defence: Where was Mr. Gholam Azam’s house situated during 1971?

Witness: As far as I know, it was situated under the Nobinogor Police Station of Brahmonbaria.

Defence: When did the formation of Peace Committee at the thana and union level came to an end?

Witness: It was a long term process; I can’t mention the date exactly.

Defence: Whether you have been interrogated by Investigation Officer- Mr. Motiur Rahman?

Witness: No Investigation Officer Monowara Begum has come to interrogate me. I can’t mention the date and time when she has visited.

Defence: For how long she has stayed over there?

Witness: About 2 hours.

Defence: You have mentioned some names of books in your examination in chief? Whether you have mentioned the names to the Investigation Officer?

Witness: I might have mentioned some names.

Defence: The book Shanti Committee-1971 has been published on 1971?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: You have not given any books which have been mentioned in the deposition to the Investigation Officer and she didn’t seize any book.

Witness: Not true.

Defence: There is no specific information in your hand about the presence of Gholam Azam at the first executive committee meeting of Peace Committee, so you have not given any books to the investigation officer.

Witness: She has not asked for any book.

Defence: In which book you have mentioned about the presence of Gholam Azam at the executive committee meeting?

Witness: As he was the Chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami, so it is easily assumable that- the first meeting might not run without his presence.

Defence: In which book you have mentioned about the direction arising out of the first meeting for destructing the evil doers?

Witness: All the books which contain anything about the following matter contain the information about the direction.

Defence: Mention the names of the books specifically.

Witness: It is not possible to mention specifically.

Defence: There is no mentioning about the following matter in your book, so that you didn’t let the Investigation Officer seize the books.

Witness: Not true.

Defence: The Union Peace Committee has been formed by making Chairmen those who were the Chairmen of the then Union Councils.

Witness: It has been seen in the documents that the Union Peace Committee has been formed by making them Chairmen who were the Chairmen of the then Union Peace Committee.

Defence: Whether at that time the Union Council Chairmen were being selected by the members of the councils.

Witness: It might be.

Defence: There was no power in the hand of the Union Peace Committee to direct the Commanding Officers and Armies of the nearby Army Camps.

Witness: I may not answer whether they were empowered to direct the Armies, but I can say they have the power to contact with the auxiliary forces.

Defence: Do you have any idea about the statutory definition of Auxiliary Force?

Witness: I don’t have any idea. But I may say that- the people who observe the direction of the superior authority were the auxiliary force members and if it is necessary the authority follows the advice of the associated auxiliary forces.

Defence: The authorities as you have mentioned might be civilian and non-civilian.

Witness: In 1971 the authority denotes the Military authority, if there were any civilian authorities they were also under the command of the Military authorities.

Defence: There has not been any Government Notice or Gazette to take the Peace Committee under the command of Pakistan Army.

Witness: I can’t say about it specifically.

Defence: The Pakistan Government didn’t serve any arms for the use of the members of the Peace Committee.

Witness: The authority has served the arms to them.

Defence: Whether you have observed arms in the hands of each members of the Peace Committee?

Witness: No.

Zeyad Al Malum: My Lord, it is fully an irrelevant question. How come he may ask such a question?

Justice Nizmaul Huq: The question is not allowed. Next question.

Defence: He has already answered for the question.

Witness: No. If you are permitted to alter any question, in that case I might revise the answer before I become satisfied.

Justice Nizamul Huq: The Tribunal will decide the matter, let the Prosecution not interrupt.
Zeyad Al Malum: No, they have raised irrelevant question.

Defence: The learned Prosecutor is no one to decide whether the question or the answer is relevant or not.

Justice Nizamul Huq: Okay the question is expunged. Next question.

Defence: Whether Jamaat-e-Islami is a political party.

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Since 16th December, 1971, Maulana Maududi was the chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami on the then East Pakistan and the present Pakistan.

Witness: Yes he was the Chief, but I can’t say about the exact date.

Defence: Jamaat-e-Islami has contested for how many seats on the Central election of 1970?

Witness: I can’t say it specifically.

Defence: Whether in 1970 election Jamaat-e-Islami has contested from the Mirpur area, where you did used to reside.

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Can you say, among the 300 seats, for how many seats Jamaat-e-Islami has contested at the Provincial Election?

Witness: I can’t say.

Defence: Raja Tridib Roy has been elected as an individual candidate on the election of Provincial Council.

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Can you say the number of Jamaat-e-Islami members on 1971?

Witness: No.

Defence: Whether the area where you were residing at on 1971 was under the Union Council?

Witness: I can’t say.

Defence: Who was the Jamaat-e-Islami Chief at your area on 1971?

Witness: I can’t say.

Defence: You have completed your intermediate level at the Chittagong College. How many students of the institution were the supporters of Chatro Sangha?

Witness: It is not possible to mention the exact number.

Defence: How many student of your class were the supporters of Chatro Sangha when you were a student of Dhaka University?

Witness: It is not possible to answer.

Defence: Almost all of the students of your class or the people of your nearby residence were the supporters of Al-Badar, Al-Shams, Razakar and as well almost all of them were under the umbrella of Jamaat-e-Islami?

Witness: There was no Al-Badar in my area.

Justice Nizamul Huq: No we find it irrelevant and it is not allowed to ask. Next question.
At this moment, Prosecutor Zeqad Al Malum started saying that the counsel is not supposed to ask that sort of question, afterwards Mr Mizanul has raised objection. Then Mr. Malum said that My Lord, may be my learned friend can’t tolerate my face and name so he is raising objection. At that time Mr. Mizanul strongly objected to this. Mr. Justice Nizamul Huq started telling Mizanul to calm down it is totally unalike that you are agitating in temper.

Mr. Mizan replied that he could not proceed on after this sorts of conversation, please give me some times to cool down. It is my humble prayer to adjourn the court now, there are only 10 to 15 minutes left to complete the first session. Please adjourn this session.

Justice Nizamul Huq replied, if we would adjourn the session at this circumstance, in that case there may be a chance that your temper would not slow down. Mr. Mizan then said in that case please start up the next case from the cause list. Justice Anwarul Huq replied in a smiling face if it is found that, the second case on cause list is your case what would you do? Mr. Mizan checked the cause list and replied the next one is not my case.

The Tribunal was adjourned till 1:45 P.M. and the chairman told the defense that it is their expectation to complete the cross examination by the end of the next session.

At one point toward the end of the morning proceedings the prosecutor Malum got up and said, 'We represent the family members of the martyrs, we represent the relatives of the people who laid down their lives for the nation, therefore our attitude and appearance will be different from that of the Defence counsels.’

Mizanul strongly objected. He said ‘You don’t represent the martyrs. You draw your salary from the Government, not from the family members of the martyrs. Prosecutors are appointed by the Government.’ He also strongly objected to the comments about appearance and attitude, pointing out that it was unbecoming of the Prosecutor to make such comments in court. 

After adjournment for lunch the cross examination continued:

Defence: You opposed religious politics when you were the member of Student Union.

Witness: Yes, I opposed that religious business in the name of religious politics.

Defence: Did you give many speech and statement by opposing religious politics?

Witness: Basically I opposed religious business.

Justice Nizam: Mr. Mizanul Islam, you have to complete by 3:45pm.

Defence: Religious politics and religious business are different words and have different meaning.

Witness: I do not know, I have said as per my understanding.

Defence: Business means gain something in exchange of money.

Witness: I think business means to gain profit by investing anything.

Defence: Gain money by selling books is also a business.

Witness: When publisher published surely it will be considered as business.

Defence: Did you have any information that jamaat-i-islam, Muslim League, PDP, Nezam-i-islam all were under the military force by the promulgation of an Order of Military Government?

Witness: I have no information in this regard because all other forces worked after discussing with the military force.

Defence: Where did you get the information that Razakaar forces were established by the leader of Jammat-i-islam?

Witness: It is an established fact.

Defence: Did you give any information to the investigation officer regarding this issue.

Witness: Yes, I have given.

Defence: Would you please tell me in which month Razakaar force was formed.

Witness: So far I can remember it is in the month of May.

Defence: In which date?

Witness: I cannot remember the date specifically at this moment.

Defence: Did you know Razakaar force was established by the promulgation of gazette on 2nd August?

Witness: I cannot remember the date specifically at this moment but it was established by the promulgation of a gazette.

Defence: Did you know when Al Badr, Al shams, Mujahid force was established?

Witness: From the month of April to June these were established in Jamalpur for the first time.

Defence: Whether these were established by the Pakistan army?

Witness: Al Badr and Al Shams were formed under the leadership of Jamaat-i-islam and Islamic Student Union. Pakistan army provided arms to them.

Defence: Whether any rules were implemented for the establishment of the Al Badr force?

Witness: It was not urgent.

Defence: It is not true that there was existence of Mujahid Force.

Witness: But it is in my information.

Defence: Whether the name of E.P.R was changed as E.P cap or not?

Witness: I do not know.

Defence: Razakaar force was formed by extinguishing Anser Force and member of the Anser force was included in Razakaar Force.

Witness: I agree with the first part but not with the second part.

Defence: Whether there was any other voluntary force of Razakaar force before the implementation of rules.

Witness: Before the implementation of rules there was a voluntary force named as Rezakaar force.

Defence: On 7th September, Razakaar force was included in military force by the declaration in Rawalpindi.

Witness: I cannot say the exact date now but I can say it that all force were under the Military force.

Defence: Abdul Rahim was the first director after the implementation of Razakaar force.

Witness: May be.

Defence: In 1973, Abdul Rahim was appointed as secretary of the Government of Bangladesh.

Witness: I do not know.

Defence: Did you know Mr. Abdul Rahim was arrested in Collaborators Act.

Witness: I do not know.

Defence: There was another person after Abdur Rahim who was appointed as director of the Razakaar force.

Witness: I do not know.

Defence: Who was the adjutant of Razakaar force of Dhaka District?

Witness: I do not know since it was the administrative matter.

Defence: Was there any control of Razakaar director, Adjutant upon the Razakaar force.

Witness: There was no such control.

Defence: In 1971, how many members were in Razakaar force according to the Razakaar Ordinance?

Witness: I cannot remember at this moment.

Defence: How many members in Razakaar force in Dhaka District?

Witness: I do not know.

Defence: Without identifying a member it is not possible to identify basically from which group they were.

Witness: I have said it before and I am telling it now Razakaar force was established by the member of the Jamaat-i-islam and the leader of the Jamaat-i-islam was Ghulam Azam. Member of the Razakaar force always inspired the military force and Pakistan army. And Daily Shongram was their mouth piece.

Defence: Did you read Daily Shaongram regularly at that time?

Witness: I would read it sometimes. I read it to know what was Pakistan Government doing and thinking. Jamaat-i-islam was the first associated force of the then Pakistan Government.

Defence: Would you read Daily Ittefaq in 1971.

Witness: Sometimes I would read Daily Pakistan, Daily Observer, and Daily Shongram. In fact, I would read all those newspaper which I got.

Defence: After the Liberation war to till date did you use the newspaper Daily Ittefaq for your research.

Witness: I cannot say without seeing newspaper.

Defence: In 1971, whether there was any news published in editorial and sub editorial page of Daily Ittefaq by praising the then Pakistan Government.

Witness: I cannot say anything without seeing my documents but I can say it that all newspaper published by hailing the then Pakistan Government.
Continuing on from this, there was a discussion about length of time for cross examination, which resulted in an order. This is dealt with on a separate page.

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