Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Quader Molla appeal, day 23: Attorney General arguments

The Attorney General came to the dais

“My lord I was at charge No. 5 and I was referring to the testimony of the P.W.-6. The allegation raised by my learned friend (defence) is- he has not told to Investigating Officer (hereinafter I.O.) that he had witnessed Abdul Quader Mollah committing the offence. My lord let us move to P.W. 12 (I.O.)’s cross examination at page 629 of part 2, at the top where he deposed, but this witness (P.W.-6) has deposed that, ‘he has seen through the gap between the bunch of paddies that Abdul Quader Mollah has fired towards the unarmed civilians’. Now, my lord he just did not deposed that he saw all this ‘hiding in a hole’.

The AG further argued, “There was no suggestion by the defence about arson.” Sinha J. argued, “It was not the charge against him.”

The AG then replied, “but there was no suggestion about the presence of Pakistani Army and Abdul Quader Molla’s force. It has not been denied. AG then moved to page 564 (of part 2) 2nd line from the top, P.W.-6’s examination in chief. He quoted from P.W.-6’s examination, “From the east side, the Pakistani army and Quader Mollah’s force came towards our village. They open fired towards the unarmed Bangalees. Quader Mollah had a rifle with him and he also fired.”

He then stated, “defence allegation about him is he was just hiding in the hole; he did not see anything.”

He then moved page 583 (part- 20, 3rd line from bottom and quoted the P.W.-6, “I hide in a hole” and then he moved to page 584, 11th line from the top and quoted the same witness, “I was hiding at the north end of the village.”

Then he moved to 13th line of the page 585 and quoted the P.W.-6, “The hole was 4 feet deep from the ground level.” The AG then moved to 19th line of the same and quoted the same P.W., “It is not true that there was paddy all-around me and that is why I could not see anything.”

He then moved to page 588, 13th line from above which he considered as very important and quoted the same P.W., “I hide at he north side of village paddy were processed into rice. At that place the Pakistani force and Quader Mollah’s force gathered everyone.” However, he agreed that the witness told all these to I.O.

The AG then moved page 580, 7th line from bottom and quoted the P.W.-6, “It is not true that it was a cloudy night and it is not true that I did not see anything.”

He then moved to page 583, 6th line from top and then page 584 11th line from bottom and quoted the same P.W., “it is not true that in the election of the 1970, I did not cast my vote.”

He then moved to page 585, 6th line from the top and quoted the P.W.-6, “It is not true that I was not involved with political party in 1970.” He then moved to page 586, 10th line from the bottom and quoted some lines. He then moved to some further pages 587 (6th line from bottom), 588, 598 (5th line from bottom).

At this stage Chaowdhury J. asked him, “Learned AG, what do you want to show us?” The AG then moved to the cross examination of P.W.-6 at page 607. He referred the 3rd paragraph of page 634 (Participation of Abdul Quader Mollah) and quoted “this witness did not deposed that he saw Abdul Quader Molla with arms.”

The AG then moved to P.W.-6’s deposition at page 586, 6th line from bottom and quoted him, “The helicopter landed at the high land of the west side.” He then argued, the direction of act is very important. They gathered the people those were there to cut the paddy (he referred 598 and then 584, 2nd line from the top).

At this stage, Sinha J. and the CJ asked the AG, “Why you are just reading out? You have already read all these. You just need to refer and make your legal submission.” The AG replied, “My lord, I was just showing your lordships both the witness testimony and corroborated each other. The problem is there the P.W.s did not depose the same to I.O.”

The AG then moved to the next charge. He stated the summary of the charge in his own language before the court. He mentioned there were 13 issues regarding this charge and the cross examination of the witness was limited to certain issues only. He then moved to P.W.-3’s cross examination at page 567 and argued, “all testimony of the P.W.-3 was unparalleled.”

However, Mahmodd J. reminded the AG, “but they (defence) argued that she (P.W.-3) did not tell that to I.O.” Wahab J. added, “Mr Razzaq, the learned defence counsel, felt difficulties. He even talked to media that the lawyer they engaged to cross examine P.W.-3 did not do his job properly. They then discharged that lawyer and prayed before the tribunal on this ground to re-examine P.W.-3. Then why you are talking too much on this witness?”

Sinha J. then further added, “That is why I enquired you about the process of recording witness testimony at the tribunal. Chowdhury J. added a query to the AG, “What does the law say? Whether the defence can submit such an application for re-examination (not examination-in-chief) of a prosecution witness? It is established that either of the parties can re-examine their own witness at anytime but what about the other party?” The AG replied, “No, my lord. They cannot do that. The tribunal has already considered the matter and decided the issue.”

Sinha J. criticised the AG, “Why are you become unmindful nowadays? The previous day I have noticed that and brought to your attention.” The CJ added, “The problem is he is not properly assisted by his deputies.” Chowdhury J. and Wahab J. repeated the question by Sinha J. and added, “We can remember each and every points and issues raised by Mr Razzaq but what about you?”

It was 12:59 pm then and the CJ adjourned the hearing until next day. Wahab J. then asked the AG, “Please see the Act and the Rules and then make your submission on these issues.” The CJ reminded, “Do not forget, this is just not the ICT Appellate Tribunal; it is the Supreme Court of Bangladesh; we have all other cases to hear.”

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