Sunday, July 22, 2012

24 Jun 2012: Azam trial adjournment

The trial of Gholam Azam was due to start on this day. Justice Nizamul Huq started proceedings by stating that there are three applications pending before us, one has been made by the prosecution about the issuance of summons and another two have been issued by the defence, one is for an extension of time before having to provide list of witnesses, and another is for adjournment.

Tajul Islam then said that the defense had not had time to prepare themselves as there is a huge volume of materials and documents to consider. He said that the defence team had already collected more than 50 thousand pages in relation to its defence document out of which 10 thousand are being considered for submission. ‘We are preparing the list of witnesses. But we need at least two more weeks’ he said.

Justice Nizamul Huq: Is that all you have to say about your prayer for time? Actually how much time did you get to make yourself prepared?

Tajul Islam: Not that much, My Lord.

Justice Nizamul Huq: You have had almost 42 days to prepare yourself. Yes Mr. Malum; do you have anything to say?

Zead Al Malum, prosecutor: My Lord, their first application is for the extension of time for preparing themselves with the documents. He pointed to section 13 which states: ‘No trial before a Tribunal shall be adjourned for any purpose unless the Tribunal is of the opinion that the adjournment is in the interest of justice.’ And to section 11(3)(a) which states, that the tribunal should ‘confine the trial to an expeditious hearing of the issues raised by the charges and to section 9(5) which states, ‘A list of witnesses for the defence, if any, along with the documents or copies thereof, which the defence intends to rely upon, shall be furnished to the Tribunal and the prosecution at the time of the commencement of the trial.’

He said that the fact that the defence have not read or prepared themselves is not a justified ground. They are delaying the proper justice of the accused petitioner.

Justice AKM Zaheer Ahmed: If we reject the adjournment prayer, what would be the benefit. The witness is not present today. You have not presented the witness.

Justice AKM Zaheer Ahmed: If we reject the adjournment petition; in that case the witnesses has to be present.

Justice Nizamul Huq passed an order (summary)
Accused Golam Azam has been presented before the Tribunal. There are three applications pending before the Tribunal- first one has been filed by the Prosecution for service of summons; the order will be passed in chamber.

The second one is filed by the accused, praying for time for submitting the list of Defence Witnesses and documents.

The third one is for adjournment.

We have heard both the Tajul Islam and Zead Al Malum.

Mr. Tajul Islam has submitted that they have prepared documents and witness list and they need some more time and thus prayed for extension of two weeks, which has been seriously objected by Zead Al Malum.

Zead Al Malum pledged that adjournment has been prayed before on the same ground. The witness is not present today.

Thus after hearing both- the defence is directed to produce the documents and list of witnesses by 1st of July, 2012. In default of this, the Trial will proceed. Trial is also fixed on the same abovementioned date.

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