This is the first of three posts. To see the second post click here; to see the third post click here
He first gave some introductory remarks (summarized)
The nation yesterday celebrate 41st victory day of liberation war. We keep in our mind this trial shall be disposed speedy and expeditiously. I am behalf of ICT-BD Case No.02 of 2012.This case about the operation of 9 month’s war. Now today with long pending case, some local Perpetrators are tries before your lordship.
First of all I remember father of nation with dynamic leadership was Bongobondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He had an unprecedented mind that had made our liberation.
In 1962s election I also took part, which was my first participation in political arena.
My Lord. It is our 2nd war because now we have tried the war criminals.
I want to start my argument with respect and remember of all people who had been killed at night on 25th March in 1971. I remember Bongo Taz Tazuddin Ahmed. On 15th August in 1975 Bongobondhu was killed with his whole family. We don’t believe that not only Retd. Army officer killed Bongobondhu but also any other people involved that.
Chairman Justice Obaidul Hasan: Mr. Prosecutor Supreme Court already has been decided that issue. You don’t have necessary say that regarding this case. Please argument will be finished within a reasonable time.
Prosecutor: I am becoming emotional.
Chairman Justice Obaidul Hasan: this is no place to express your emotion.
Prosecutor: other leaders, Sher-e-Bangal A.k Fazlul Haque, Saheed Sorowardi, Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Vasani. We can’t forget such leaders’ participation. After 1970’s election Bongobondhu was going to proceed in very diplomatic ways. We started the movement for war by proclamation of Bongobondhu. On the other hand, local some people protested our movement under protection of Pakistan and conspiracy was going on. In our case concern is on 25th March night in 1971.When Bongobondhu was arrested then he proclaimed the independence. We all know what happened on 25th March night. At that time, Dhaka University, Rajar Bague Police line and so many places were attacked by Pakistani Armies. It is now clear in history in that night some local people also helped to Pakistan Armies for killing the people indiscriminately. The tribunal was demand of Bengalis nation. This is International Criminal Tribunal. It is established for those perpetrators. Thus in the ICT Act Rule -91 the tribunal shall be speedy. Our investigation officer presents the case and he cited all the reasonable documents. The ICT Act provides an investigation officer can take help any of investigating officers if any evidence has been found. I adduce 12 witnesses including 2 formal witnesses, Monwara Begum and Abdur Razzak (IO) for proving this case. We rely upon this Act that’s why I adduce only 10 public witnesses. In total 12 P.W. is sufficient to prove this case with 6 charges and need not adduce any additional witness for proving the case although 49 witnesses is available.
In addition to this, I depend on quality of the witness not a quantity of the witness. We brought them whose were victim, who’s lost their relatives, parents. I present them before your Lordship.
Now I would like to give synopsis about the Charge-1, 2 and 3. The witnesses, actually they heard of the occurrences. I will come on the legal point later on but now one thing make clear. The Tribunal shall accord both hearsay and non hearsay evidence under Rule-55 of Rules of Procedure of the Act.
He then moved onto the charges
Due to the difficulty in following the details of the proceedings on these days below is set out the
Due to the difficulty in following the details of the proceedings on these days below is set out the
prosecution's written synopsis, filed by the prosecutor in court on the 26 December. This part deals with charges 1, 2 and 3
Charge No-01Date of Occurrence : 05.04.1971, Place of Occurrence: Eidgah Maidan at Mirpur-l2. Witnesses: PW- 02 and PW- 10.
One Shaheed Pallab (Tuntuni) the then student of Mirpur Bangla College was ' abducted by the accomplices of the accused Abdul Quader Molla and was kept hanging in a tree at Eidgah Maidan at Mirpur-l2 where at the order of the accused Abdul Quader Molla his accomplice Akter Gunda killed him by gun shot on 05- 04-1971 at any time and buried his dead body along with 7 other dead bodies nearby Kalapani-Jheel at Mirpur-I2. He was killed only because he had been organising liberation war before the proclamation of independence by Bangobondhu.
In order to prove the charge prosecution adduced PW-02 named Shahidul Haq Marna and PW-10 named Syed Abdul Quayum who are the heresay witnesses. They heard of the occurrence from the Janatar Kafela [ordinary people] coming from Mirpur.
PW02: The PW-02 was the commander of Mama Bahini and after having been trained up from India they made an operation with his troops in the city of Dhaka particularly in Muhammadpur Physical Training Centre (torture cell of Razakars and Al-Badres).
PW-10 has been althrough in the profession of teaching and got retired as the Headmaster from Bangla school at Mirpur and till now he is in the profession of teaching. The above named two witnesses' definitely can be relied upon.
Charge 2: Date of Occurence: 27.03.1971 at 11 a.m. Place of Occurrence in the house of poet Meherunesa at Mirpur- 06 Witneses: PW- 02, PW- 04 and PW- 10.
That on 27-03-1971 at about 11 a.m under the leadership of the aceused Abdul Quader Molla the Non-Bengali Biharis armed with deadly weapons entered into the house of the pro-independence poet Meherunnesa and killed her along with her old mother and two brothers by cut with knives (‘throat cutting’). They were brutally killed only because the poet Meherunnesa did work in organising the liberation war and did write pro-independence poems. She with poet Kazi Rosy PW- 04 also participated in the meeting of Awami league and other meetings held in favour of liberation war.
In order to prove the charge 3 prosecution witnesses have been examined in the Tribunal namely Shahidul Haq Mama as PW -02, Poet Kazi Rosj,as PW-04 and Syed Abdul Qayum being PW-10. Both the 3 PWs are the heresay witnesses who heard of the occurrence from some reliable credible persons who witnessed and knew the occurrence. About PW-02 and PW-10 already has been discussed earlier. Now it is also a common knowledge to all the conscious citizens of the country that the poet Kazi Rosy is widely known as pro-independence poet who also had been in Shadhin-Bangla Beter Kendro … at the time of on going liberation war. She was a neighbour to shahid poet Meherururesa as well as her friend. There was an action committee formed with Kazi Rosy as the President and Poet Meherunnesa as its member. They worked together for the wellbeing of the Bengalis at Mirpur. And they also worked in the 1970 General Election in favour of Awami League candidate. They also worked in favor of independence of Bangladesh. That is why they were made target to be killed. She came to know on 2l March in the evening of the occurrence. "I got the news at 27th March that, Quader Molla and most of his associates, wearing red and white cloth on their head, entered into house of Meherunnesa at 11 am where tMeherunnesa, her brothers and her mother were staying. When Meher saw that they came to kill her, she tried to save her life by embracing Quran in her chest ,but they slaughtered four members of Meher and her family." She, in time of residing at Kalabagan in the house of her aunty, heard for the first time of the occurrence of brutal killing of poet Meherunnesa. She also came to hear after independence of the occurrence that “I came to know after two or three days, a Bihari named Gulzar told me that, they slaughtered Meherunnesa and hung her head by hair with the fan. Meher was tossing about with pain like to a slaughtered hen. The associates of Quader Molla, non Bengalis and the Bihari committed that incidents which I told you about earlier.'
On defense suggestion put to her She said 'This is not true that Quader Mollah was in Dhaka from 1971 to March 1972'. She further replied on defence suggestion that “This is not true in 1971 there was a Quader Molla who was a Bihari in Mirpur who commit those crimes and this Quader Molla was not that quader Molla"
Now onus lies upon the accused to prove it. But the accused did not take even any attempt to prove it. And also the defense could not say anything against them and could not be able to shake the credibility of the above witnesses. It was a systematic and direct attack made by several persons under the leadership of the accused and his presence and complicity in the crime proved by the evidence and did not control his accomplices team as its leadsrs and as such he is responsible for the offence committed by the members of the team under section 4(l) Act.
Charge No-03Date of occurrence: 29.03.1971 at some time in the evening. P/O: Jalladkhana Pump House at Mirpur-10. Witnesses: PW- 05 and PW- 10
That on 29-03-1971 at any time in the evening one Shahid Khondaker Abu Taleb very much popular and prominent journalist was abducted from a place nearby the Daily Ittefaq office by one Non-Bengali Bihari Abdul Halim who handed over him to the accused Abdul Quader Molla. And the accused being accompanied by his accomplices brought to Mirpur Jallad Kana Pump House and slaughtered him to death. He was killed because he was a popular and prominent journalist worked for organising liberation war on the Bengali Nationalism.
In order to prove the charge PW-05 Khandaker Abul Ahsan a son of Shahid Khandaker Abu Taleb and PW-10 Sayed Abdul Qayum have been adduced and examined in the Tribunal. They are also hearsay witnesses.
PW-05 Khandaker: Abul Ahsan who is Assistant director in army executive office at Cantonment. He heard of the occurrence from one Nizam sometimes driver in the car of his father Shahid Khandaker Abu Taleb. He said in his evidence in chief that one non-Bengali Bihari Abdul Halim chief accountant of Daily Ittefaq office picked up his father in his car in the plea of giving him lift to his house at Mirpur but said Amul Halim handed over his father to the accused Abdul Quader Molla. In cross examination his evidence given at all not been shakened.
P.W-10 Syed AbuI Qayum: In the month of June, l97l this P.W-10 heard from one Fharuk Ahmed Khan that his father was taken to Mirpur-IO Jallad Khana Pump House and was slaughtered to death. He further said in evidence in chief after independence said Nizam (Non-Bengali driver of the car of Shahid Khandaker Abu Taleb) said to him that one non-Bengali accountant of Ittefaq offrce Abdul Halim picked up his father in his car in the plea of giving him lift to his house at Mirpur but without doing that he handed over his father to Biharis where he was slaughtered to death.
In cross examination on suggestion put by defense to him he denied the suggestion that it is not true that Khandaker Abu Taleb was taken to Mirpur-10 Jallad Khana and slaughtered to death by non-Bengalies, Akter Gunda and Abdul Quader Molla.The