Tuesday, January 3, 2012

21 Dec 2011: Talukder cross exam day 2

This was the second day of cross examination of the third prosecution witness Md Mizanur Rahman Talukder who has given evidence in the trial of Delwar Hossain Sayedee. The defence counsel was Manzur Ahmed Ansari. After the cross examination finished, the fourth witness then gave his statement to the court

Witness Evidence in chief
Cross examination, day 1

Below is an unofficial translation of the cross examination. (Notes and translation undertaken by Onchita Shadman. Every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy, but there may be some small omissions.)
Defence: Your statement regarding “Delwar Hossain Sayedee forcing innocent religious Hindus to convert into Islam” is not true.

Witness: it’s a lie

Defence: Your statement regarding “He gave them skull cap, rosary and prayer mat”, is not true

Witness: it’s a lie

Defence: Your statement regarding, “the converted people were forced to pray and were given Muslim names” is not true.

Witness: it’s a lie

Defence: Your statement regarding, “after liberation the converted people returned to their own faith” is not true

Witness: it’s a lie

Defence: Your statement regarding “before liberation Sayedee sahib sold dental medicines called ‘Chander Koboz’ and ‘Abe Hayat” is not true.

Witness: it’s a lie

Defence: Your statement regarding, “coming back from a relative’s house, noticing fire burning ahead and being informed by the escapees that Razakars and Pakistani army had attacked the Charkhali village, looted its houses and set them on fire” is a lie.

Witness: not true

Defence: Your statement regarding, “changing route, walking along the bank of Kocha River, nearing the jetty and boarding a Tapuria boat” is a lie

Witness: not true

Defence: You have lied that “after sailing for sometime, you saw 17-18 Bachari (big) boats moving across the Charkhali canal towards Parerhat Bazaar. It was carrying Razakars, Pakistani army and their loots”.

Witness: it’s true (didn’t lie)

Defence: You have lied that “Before long, when one of those Bachari boats edged close to your boat, you spotted Delwar Hossain Razakar, said Sayedee, Danesh Ali Molla and 5-6 Pakistani soldiers on it”.

Witness: not true

Defence: You’ve lied that “after seeing them, you lay down on the boat and signalled the boatman to follow the ebb”

Witness: not true.

Defence: My statement regarding crimes such as murder, loot, arson attack committed after arrival of the army in Parerhat, is a lie.

Witness: not true

Defence: After liberation Parerhat Razakar camp had turned into a camp for freedom fighters

Witness: yes

Defence: Who was the commander/deputy commander of that camp?

Witness: I don’t know, probably Nabin

Defence: Whom did you ask to leave looted items in front of your house?

Witness: I asked my mother. I asked to return the items to their owners, not to leave them with me.

Defence: Do you know how your mother had announced this (his message)?

Witness: no

Defence: Likewise did any other freedom fighter received looted item and return them?

Witness: I am not aware of that.

Defence: After having been returned, when were these items taken away from you house

Witness: within one to one and a half months

Justice Zaheer: not from his house, but from in front of his house.

Defence: Can you name 10 people who had taken back their items?

Witness: Hari Roy, Himangshu, Naren Halder,

Chairma: Why did you ask this?

Defence: You live in Mohammadpur.

Witness: yes

Defence: Your home is in a government allotment property?

Witness: That’s a lie.

Defence: What’s your profession?

Witness: I work as a contractor.

Defence: You are a leader of the party currently in power.

Witness: yes

Defence: Since you are a leader of the political party in power and the accused, Allama Delwar Hossain Sayedee is a central leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, you have given false statement in a false case filed against the accused to defame him publicly. You have done so out of revenge, jealousy, with backing from the government and with the intention to receive more government aid in future.

Witness: That’s a lie.
The cross examination concluded.  Justice Kabir said that 'The rules in the code of criminal procedure do not ask you to take denial of every line (of witness statement). It’s prosecution’s duty to prove their case'. Justice Zaheer then said that 'I won’t stop you but why do you need to ask of accounts that are not relevant to the accused? '

Mizanul Islam for the defence responded saying that they were asking questions to find contradictions in their statements. Justice Zaheer said, but what about 'statements that have no implication with Sayedee…'

Tajul Islam then again raised his plea regarding Sayedee’s physiotherapy and said that the tribunal could make an exception to allow adjournment for this. The chairman then said, 'If he needs to take physiotherapy, we’ll pass an order that he need not be present in the court.' Tajul Islam responded by saying, how can the cross-examination continue without his (Sayedee’s) presence.'

Mizanul Islam also told the tribunal that 'We need Sayedee’s assistance (to visit the location and investigate). His sons were only 1-2 years old during the war. So they can’t help with that.'

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