Monday, July 2, 2012

21 Mar 2012: Nizami charge framing 4

The hearing began with the charge framing application relating to Motiur Rahman Nizami (carried on from this hearing)

Barrister Abdur Razzak [Defence Counsel] asked what would happen to the corrected formal charge which the Prosecution has presented before the tribunal. He also said that the defence has a petition regarding that matter.

Justice Nizamul Haq: We will look at your petition during the charge framing. And about the corrected formal charge; you know Mr. Razzak, it has already been ignored by the tribunal.

Advocate Tajul Islam then rose and said that the Prosecution team is so efficient that it took almost half an hour to complete their argument. But, My Lord, we need some more time to get prepared.

Advocate Altafuddin Ahmed then came up and made some arguments in favour of their charge frame application, and presented some supporting documents

Rule-38 of the International Crimes Tribunal Rules of Procedure-2010 says that-  “If after consideration and hearing under rule-37, the Tribunal is of opinion that there is sufficient ground to presume that the accused has committed an offence, the Tribunal shall frame one or more charges of the offences of which he is accused and he shall be asked whether he admits that he has committed the offence with which he is charged.”

Justice Fazle Kabir: The first four charges reflect the matter of speech given by the accused to protect the sovereignty of the then Pakistan. You have brought a charge about this speech. In fact you have brought these charges under section- 3(2) (a). Now my question is whether anyone would be liable for murder, rape, arson, abatement etc in case of his speech presented towards a group of people?

Advocate Haider Ali [Prosecutor]: My Lord, we have invoked section-4(2), but we have also invoked section 3(2) (g) and 3(2) (h).

Justice Fazle Kabir: No, Mr. Ali; there must be specific charge about a particular incident.

Justice Nizamul Haq: Please look at page- 57, para-2 of the formal charge. Please read it.

Advocate Haider Ali [Prosecutor]: [He read out the part.]

Justice Nizamul Haq: So you are reading he has induced them and by the direction of their leader he has induced the members of the auxiliary forces. That means- they all have been induced. So, this is the reason, you are invoking section- 3(2)(g). Section 3(2)(g) read out as follows- “The following acts or any of them are crimes within the jurisdiction of a Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility, namely:- (g) attempt, abetment or conspiracy to commit any such crimes;”

Now you have to elaborate, how could you find the relevancy in between this section and your charges.

Advocate Haider Ali said that there is a clear mentioning of abatement here. So, we have invoked this section in our charge.

Justice Nizamul Haq: You have to mention the name of the offence for the ground of abatement.

Advocate Haider Ali: My Lord, section 3(2)(g) covers the matter of abatement.

Advocate Tajul Islam [Defence Counsel]: My Lord on the last day we’ve asked for time. And you have assured us to give us time after the Prosecution argument. We don’t know what would be the result, but we will give all out effort. So, we need some more times.

Justice Nizamul Haq: By expressing “We don’t know what would be the result…”- you have expressed your doubt about the process. As far as I know- you are practicing for almost 15 years. So, you must be very careful about using your words and language.

Advocate Tajul Islam: Yes My Lord, you are absolutely right. But right after coming to this tribunal, sometimes it seems to me thatI’m going to forget all the things I’ve learnt since today.

Justice Nizamul Haq: Mr. Islam [shouted loudly], you are doing something wrong again by uttering this sentence. Please, don’t do anything similiar again.

[Then Justice Nizamul Haq reiterated the relevant witnesses for this formal charge to be noted down by the defence team, for further reference.]

Justice Nizamul Haq passed the following order (summary)
Today, accused Motiur Rahman Nizami has been produced before the tribunal by the prison authority. The argument of the Prosecution has been completed. On the other hand, Mr. Tajul Islam, appearing on behalf of the petitioner submitted that for their preparation they need more time. On 7th March an order was passed in the effect that the prosecution will submit their argument. Since the order was passed before two weeks, now the counsel for the petitioner is asking for more time. But about this time prayer, the Prosecution has raised serious objection.

Let the defence to place their argument on 27th March, 2012. The accused is required to be produced before the tribunal on that day.
Barrister Abdur Razzak sought time for the privileged communication with the petitioner?

Justice Nizamul Haq: Yesterday, Mr. Fakhrul Islam has asked for privileged communication with his petitioner. But, with him around 8 or 9 people got the entrance. It is regrettable. We’ve the CCTV camera there.

Barrister Abdur Razzak [Defence Counsel]: My Lord, we will not take more than 10 minutes.

Justice Nassim then passed an order of Md. Abdul Quader Mollah.
This is an application for adjournment. Mr. Abdur Razzak, on behalf of the defence has submitted that- the argument on the part of the Prosecution has completed. Today, due to some miscommunication the accused is not present. And the prayer of adjournment by Barrister Abdur Razzak has seriously been objected by Prosecutor Md. Ali.

We’re going to give the accused further time. Let the matter be fixed on 28th March, 2012 for submission of accused for charge hearing. The accused is required to be produced on that day.
The Court is adjourned for today.

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