Following the end of the prosecution closing argument in the morning the case of Abul Kalam Azad, defense counsel Abdus Sukur Khan started his closing argument. Summary is below
Educational Life Investigation Officer of this case did not investigate properly about educational life of Abul Kalam Azad Alias Bachchu because he went different occurrence places but he did not go Rajendra College for investigation. Even I.O could not say where did Abul Kalam Azad study after passing from Rajendra College.
Different witnesses told about Madrasah education of Abul Kalam Azad Alias Bachchu that he had studied at Bahadia Madrasah. I.O did not go to that Madrasah for investigating. We know that Maolana Abul Kalam Azad Alias Bachchu is a learned person about religious matter. If he did not study in Madrasah, he would not give such type of speech about religious matter but I.O did not investigate about this matter.
In his report it is stated in educational qualification of Abul Kalam Azad alias Bachchu that he has passed B.A and F.M. We don’t know what does he mean by F.M.
So by this it has been proved that I.O did not investigate properly about educational life of Abul Kalam Azad Alias Bachchu. He did not go to Bahardia Madrasah and Rajendra college. Even he did not go to Faridpur for investigation, he took all information by letter like getting educational information of Abul Kalam Azad Alias Bachchu.
It is stated in the report that once he was Rukan of Jamaat-e-Islami and some witness told that he is leader of Jamatee Islami but in page no 151 of Investigation Report, according to the S.B of Dhaka that his educational qualification is he passed Kamil and political involvement is, he is involved with politics of Jamaat-e-Islami. They have given this report without any kinds of investigation.
It is stated in page no. 129 that Abul Kalam Azad Alias BAchchu was Faridpur Al-Badar Commander but in the list of Rajaker and Al-Badar of Faridpur, it is stated in serial. 3 that Shamsuddin Nannu was Faridpur Al-Badar Commander.
It is stated in the report that Abul Kalam Azad Alias Bachchu was member of Islami Chatra Sanga and some witness also said this but his name is not in the list of Faridpur Chatra Sango. In this report it was also stated in a place that he was involved with Islami Chatra Sanghasta but at that time there was no organization in this name. So it is clear that what information has been given about Abul Kalam Azad Alias Bachchu’s political involvement in the report has no basis and about it, there is no documentary evidence. Even they could not refer any newspaper of that time and any foreign newspaper. Even I.O did not make formal charge in proper way. So it clear that Abul Kalam Azad Alias Bachchu was not Rajaker or Al-Badar Commander of Faridpur and no witness used to know him. There is no documentary evidence, for why this case is not well-created or well-filed.
ChargesMy lord now I want to make argument about the charges.
Charge one: Firstly Charge no-1 against Accused Maolana Abul Kalam Azad Alias Bachchu which is “During the first week of June, 1971, Azad and his accomplices apprehended Ranjit Nath alias Babu Nath from Khabashpur in Faridpur town and took him to the Pakistani army camp at Faridpur Circuit House. Ranjit was taken before Major Akram Koraishi and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed was also there. After a discussion, Ranjit was taken to the house of Rashid Mia at Bihari Colony and kept confined to a room there and tortured with the intent to kill. Ranjit, somehow, could escape by breaking a window around midnight”.
About this charge no-1, witness was P.W.5 Ranjit Nath Alias Babu Nath. [He read out his statement]
Justice Shahinur Islam: Describe how prosecution failed to prove and you become able to shake their claim?
Defense: Here it is described that Habi Matabbar handed over him, not Abul Kalam Azad Alias Bachchu.
Justice Shahinur Islam: Is it proved that he was handed over but accused was not there?
Defense : Yes, my lord. P.W.5, Ranjit Nath Alias Babu Nath did not say to I.O which is very much important in the claim that “Ucko Biharico Pach di dao, Subame Jabeh koro (give him to Bihari and cut his throat in the morning).
Justice Shahinur Islam: Did you ask I.O about it?
Defense: I did not get scope to ask I.O.
Justice Shahinur Islam: You can’t say it, if you wanted, you would get scope.
Defense : P.W.5, Ranjit Nath Alias Babu Nath said in cross-examination that I had talking with Bachchu during time when they were torturing me but he could not say what talking was happened. I think that Prosecution made all those against Abul Kalam Azad Alias Bachchu for a special motive.
Another point is very mportant that house of all witnesses are within one to three miles. One witness had told that Bachchu studied in the primary school in their village but could not say the name of it. But any other witness did not tell it though their house is very close in distance.
One witness has told that he was involved with the politics of Muslim League but he was not involved with Muslim League, even with no party. On the other hand it has come that Bachchu was involved with different political parties in the report but that’s not true.
Abul Kalam Azad Alias Bachchu did not take him by confining or did not torture him. So it can be said that statement of P.W.5= Ranjit Nath Alias Babu Nath against Bachchu is false and basis-less. On the other hand he presented new statement in this court from what statement he has given to Investigation Officer. Another witness has told that he was member of Peace Committee but there is no proof about it that he was member of peace committee. That witness had told this as redundancy.
Another witness has told that he heard that Bachchu took Ranjit Nath Alias Babu Nath by confining. This is fully hearsay evidence and he did not see it. Even that witness did not tell it to I.O. For why we can’t rely in his statement and his statement is not reliable. According to that witness Bachchu was involved with the politics of Islami Chatra Sanga but he could not say what was the post of Bachchu at that time? They studied in same college and even same class but he can’t say that post of Bachchu. So it is clear that he did not use to know Bachchu. If he don’t know those information of Bachchu, then how we can say that he used to know Bachchu at that time.
If he can’t say those information about Bachchu, then how we can say that he used to know Bachchu.
Most of the witness told that Bachchu was involved with Rajaker Force but no one could say On what dates did he take training? I had asked this question to I.O of this case, he told that Bachchu took short training which is fully vague and self-created of him.
Investigation officer also told that Bachchu was involved with Peace Committee of Faridpur which consisting of 28 members but he becomes unable to prove it because he has no document about it. Bachchu was never member of Peace Committee of Faridpur.
Charge 2: Charge-2 against Abul Kalam Azad Alias Bachchu is for abduction, confinement and torture.
Witness of charge-2 is P.W.7 who said that Abul Kalam Azad Alias Bachchu and Major Koraisi brought me by confining. Last part of his testimony is that they injured all over my body by bayonet. Here Bachchu was not present.
Justice Mujibul Haque Mia: How do you disprove the presence of Bachchu?
Justice Shahinur Islam: Do you dispute that those occurrences were happened or occurrences were happened but your client was not involved with those occurrences?
Defense Counsel: So far as I could collect information, I understand that occurrence may happen but my client was not involved with those occurrences. You know that trial is going on absentia and family of my client is not giving me any assistance.
Justice Shahinur Islam: All are committed by Pakistani Army?
Defense Counsel: Yes, my lord.
Justice Obaidul Hassan: We know your limitation because trial is going on absentia and accused family is not giving you any assistance.
Defense Counsel: P.W.7 did not tell to I.O about torturing of Ranjit Nath Alias Babu Nath, so this statement is not credible and we can’t rely upon their statement. All witnesses are telling the story of occurrence very specifically and clearly by involving Abul Kalam Azad Bachchu. After 40 years, to give such testimony is almost impossible.
Justice Shahinur Islam: No one forgets some occurrence of life.
Defense Counsel: All witnesses told that they used to know Abul Kalam Azad Alias Bachchu but could not say where did he live or read.
Justice Shahinur Islam: It is not needed to know everything of a person for knowing him.
Defense: But if they read in same class, then it is natural that he know where did Bachchu live or what was the post of Bachchu? On the other hand P.W.18 has told that Rajaker Force of Faridpur was formed on July 1971 which is not correct.
Justice Shahinur Islam: Your same argument about all charges?
Defense Counsel: Yes, My Lord.
Justice Obaidul Hassan: We know your problem because trial is going on absentia and accused family is not giving you any assistance.
Justice Shahinur Islam: If we accept that your client was not Rajaker or Al-Badar Commander but can he not be taken under the jurisdiction of Tribunal?
Defense Counsel: Yes, he can be brought. If I accept that Rajaker Force was formed on May 1971, then what is their training period? I.O told that they took arms training three months. Without training how did Bachchu use the rifle.
Justice Shahinur Islam: For pushing on trigger, no need to take training.
At last I want to say that Abul Kalam Azad Alias Bachchu was not involved any crime against humanity occurred during liberation war of Bangladesh and also he was not commander of Rajaker or Al-Badar, all are created by prosecution for serving special purpose.
1. This case has been filed after 40 years which is very much out of the ordinary and unreasonable.
Justice Shahinur Islam: What is problem if late?
Defense Counsel (Abdus Sukur Khan): I think their late is not properly explained and this case has been filed motivated politically after 40 years.
2. There is now law of trial in absentia in International Crimes Tribunal Act-1973 but it has been included in it by rules of procedure.
Justice Obaidul Hassan: Rule of trial in absentia has been included in our act by an amendment done on September 2012 because Abul Kalam Azad Alias Bachchu has avoided trial proceeding.
3. International Crimes Tribunal Act-1973 and its amendment have been given only prospective effect, not retrospective effect.
4. 195 Pakistani Armies were war-criminals but they were forgiven. Then how we brought their collaborators under trial forgiving them and this is not justified and jus-cogens are being broken by it.
5. I.O and witnesses of this case have said that case was filed against Bachchu under Collaborators Act, so cant prosecute someone for the same offence twice
6. In which way witnesses described the story of occurrence, is not natural after this long period.
7. Here only Bachchu has been brought into trial but some other people according to witnesses and investigation report who were with him, are not brought under trial.
8. Which crimes are claimed against Bachchu, are not genocide, those are isolated crimes. For those crimes, there is no need of special law, it may be done by general law of crimes.
9. Element of our act is Rome Statutes but those are not properly explained.
At last I want to say that no offence has been proved against my client Maolana Abul Kalam Azad Alias Bachchu, so I am praying to the Tribunal to discharge my client.