Wednesday, March 20, 2013

21 Nov 2012: Sayedee closing argument, day 4

The tribunal continued with hearing the defense closing arguments in relation to Sayedee, following on from the previous day (The summary of Sayedee defense closing arguments partly draws from defence lawyer's own notes of proceedings)

Mizanul Islam: The IO has produced the historical speech of Bangabandhu  of 7th March, 1971. I think there is no relevancy of this speech with the matter of this accused.

Justice Anwarul Haque: If there is no relevancy then why are you saying about irrelevant matter?
Mizanul Islam: The speech has been edited. There was no necessity to do that. The version of the speech in the Video CD and the other one which has been inserted on the Constitution is not same as the words are dissimilar in some lines.

Vagirothi Killing
Mizanul Islam said that he would discuss the Vagirothi Killing which is Charge 18. He said that prosecution relied on the following evidence:
- The 19(2) statement of Gonesh Chondro Shaha (Vagirothi’s Son)- it has been alleged that Vagirothi was tied behind a Motor Cycle and dragged in the Pirojpur town and then killed by shooting. It was alleged that Gonesh heard of the accused being involved with that killing. 
- All the statements which have been accepted under the section- 19 (2) was not made under any oath and the defence has not got the scope to cross examine that. So that- the defence has filed an review application about this and the Tribunal has kindly given us the scope of rebuting the statements by presenting evidences.

- Exhibit 48 which is a news paper report of Daily Azad dated 3.2.72 – describing the killing of Bhagirothi. The reporter has not confirmed her age as 18, so the Prosecution’s urging about counting the age of Vagirothi as 18 is not reliable.
The manner of killing was different. It reported she was dragged by a jeep of Pakistani Army and was killed by them. It did not mention the accused.

- Prosecution could not produce a single witness to prove charge 18. If Vagirothi was dragged in Pirojpur town during day for several miles then hundreds of people should have seen this incident. Prosecution could not bring any of the eye witness.

- On the other hand defence examined DW 10 who is an eye witness of the incident. DW 10 confirmed that Vagirothi was killed by the Pakistani Army and the accused was not involved. The prosecution did not give any suggestion to this DW that he did not see the incident. You may recall that there are about 8 charges in the Pirojpur town. But the prosecution could not bring a single witness from that area to prove those charges.

- Gonesh (Vagirothi’s son) has become DW 17. He said that the Accused was not involved in killing of his mother. If we can bring him, why could the prosecution not do so. In the prosecution’s 19(2) application they alleged that Gonesh was threatened by the supporters of the Accused as a result of which it was not possible for him to come. PW 28 in cross examination has claimed that Gonesh could not be bought since he was in fear of dacoits. But when Gonesh came to the Tribunal to testify for the Accused the prosecution did not give any suggestion to him that earlier he could not come earlier due to the fear of Accused’s people or dacoits. In fact the prosecution deliberately did not bring Gonesh as he was not ready to support the prosecution’s false allegation against the Accused. It is therefore clear that the prosecution’s allegation in 19(2) applications were false.

Prosecutor Haider Ali then entered the Tribunal and he was questioned by the tribunal about why he had been absent the previous day

- the prosecution wants to remove Gonesh from their witness list and transfer him to defence list. But they are relying upon statement of Gonesh. Is not it extremely contradictory.

Chairman: the prosecution and defence admits that Vagirothi was killed. The only dispute is whether the Accused was present.

Mizanul Islam: the prosecution could not bring a single witness to prove this charge. Gonesh was their witness and they could not bring him. Gonesh’s 19(2) statement claims that the Accused may have been involved with this incident. But Gonesh testified as DW 17 who clearly stated on oath that the accused was not involved with the killing of his mother. The prosecution documents are contradictory. After all these things it can be said that the prosecution failed to prove charge 18 against the Accused.
Sayedee as a Rajaker/peace committee member
The lawyer then moved onto whether or not the accused was a Rajakar or Peace Committee Member.
- Prosecution relied upon exhibit 35 – a list of Rajakar complied in 2007 by one M.A. Hasan which is available on the internet. The tribunal then looked at the website where there was a list, ‘War Criminals List of Bangladesh Liberation War- 1971’]

- the tribunal then looked at 'Pirojpur district' and found that number 868 contaiedn the name of Delwar Hossain Syedee as the Razakar and number 870 contain the name of Mawlana Abdur Rahim as another Razakar. I have asked several questions to the IO about who is this Mr. Abdur Rahim, but he was not able to answer. Now please go to the Peace Committee members list of Barishal. 
- You see My Lord, the name of famous Khan Bahadur Afzal has not been contained in this list;  what is the credibility of this list?  Every one knows that he was a Rajakar and founder of Peace committee in Pirojpur. This list also does not include the name of renowned Rajakars of Pirojpur, namely Danesh Molla and Sekandar Shikder. So this list is not authentic. 
Chairman: Whether the name of Delwar Hossain Syedee has been contained in the list of peace committee? 
Mizanul Islam: No. 
Chairman: that the  name of Khan Bahadur Afzal is not in this list does this save him from being a member of Peace Committee? I don’t think so. 
Mizanul Islam: I didn’t say so. I’d like to know, what is the authenticity of this person, who has made this list in this website, where the name of Khan Bahadur Afzal has been contained in several documents, books and even in the Prosecution documents also? 
Chairman: It is not a conclusive proof that- being or not being in this list proves a person’s involvement or non involvement as a Razakar or Peace Committee. 
Mizanul Islam: I’m also saying so that, when the name of Khan Bahadur Afzal has been missed here then the question about the authenticity of this list might be asked.
Chairman: merely listing of name does not prove conclusive that whether any person was Rajakar or not. But if that it corroborated by other evidence then this list has value.

Adjourned till the afternoon

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