Wednesday, November 21, 2012

11 Oct 2012: Azam IO cross exam, day 2

The tribunal started with the chairman stating that we have two applications in the matter of Mr. ATM Azharul Islam. One is about giving him the divisional status and another is for the privileged communication.

And another is on the case of Mr. Motiur Rahman Nizami. Prosecution has prayed for allowing some statements of the witnesses as the evidence, while an application has come from the defence side that- the prayer of the Prosecution is ought not to be allowed.

Mizanul Islam asked if all the petitions can be heard at the second session as they had some other things to add, and the tribunal agreed

The cross examination of the prosecution witness Motiur Rahman in the case of Golam Azam by the defence lawyer Mizanur Rahman then continued (following on from here)
Defence: You have only submitted the report titled ‘Ghulam Azamer Juddhaporadher Proman Prodhanmontrir Kache Ache.’

Witness: Yes.

Defence: The name of the writer of the report has not been mentioned there in the exhibit.

Witness: Yes. But the report has been titled as the Chief report.

Defence: You have not given any relevant documents about the reporter of the report.

Witness: No, I have not.

Defence: You have not tried to find out, what the name of the reporter was.

Witness: I have not tried.

Defence: The names of the two witnesses have been produced as witnesses regarding the seizure list, but they have not been produced today before the Tribunal.

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Have you given the name of the complainant in the complaint no- 05?

Witness: No I didn’t think it necessary.

Defence: Have you investigated about the Siru Mia whose name has been mentioned in the complaint no- 05.

Witness: Yes, he was assigned as a Sub Inspector in 1971; but I don’t know in which post he has joined first.

Defence: Who has received the monetary benefits of Siru Mia after his demise?

Witness: I have not investigated.

Defence: What was the last work place of Siru Mia?

Witness: Mohammadpur.

Defence: Who was the officer in charge in 1971?

Witness: I have not investigated.

Defence: How many Sub Inspectors were there in Mohammadpur Police Station in 25th March, 1971?

Witness: I don’t know.

Defence: Have you contacted the authority about which the report has mentioned that it is holding the proof of Ghulam Azam’s involvements in War Crimes?

Witness: No.

Defence: Did Anwara Begum, Siru Mia’s wife, give you the letter of Ghulam Azam written about SIru Mia?

Witness: No.

[Then Zeyad Al Malum has objected against the last question of the defence and Justice Jahangir Hossain has told him to take his seat, but he was still standing and objecting then Justice Jahangir has raised his voice and said for another time, ‘Please take your seat Mr. Prosecutor’. Then the Chief Prosecutor stood up and started saying- we are the officer’s of the Court, we must have something to say before your Lordship. Then again Justice Jahangir told him in loud voice, ‘No, just take your seat’. Then the Chairman has told him to take the seat.]

Defence: Was the house of Peyara Mia searched to seize the letter?

Witness: No.

Defence: Is Peyara Mia alive?

Witness: No.

Defence: Whether he has any son or daughter?

Witness: Yes. One of his sons name is Sanaul Haq Chowdhury.

Defence: Have you gone to Sanaul Haq to search for the letter?

Witness: No.

Defence: Is Mohsin Khan a close relative of Anwara Begum?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: When did Mohsin Ali join the profession of teaching?

Witness: In 1961 he has joined the Armanitola Government High School as an Assistant Teacher. He has not gone to retirement.

Defence: When has he joined the Khilgaon Government School, after the liberation?

Chairman: How could you suppos that he knows that he is joining at the Khilgaon School. You may ask the question by saying, ‘In which school he has joined after the liberation?’

Defence: Okay My Lord, with the kind permission of the Tribunal I would like to withdraw the last question because it will not come to any of our point in case we are going ask him the question as you have mentioned.

Chairman: Okay, withdraw it if you want.

Defence: Have you investigated about the beginning of the working life of Ghulam Azam prior to the start of your investigation?

Justice Anwarul Haque: The question is such a critical one to answer. It is a matter involving 60 or 70 years. If the IO goes to answer by saying that he does not know, then it will not be a good answer and if he goes to answer ‘Yes’ then it will be a quite difficult task to describe about all of his involvements.

Defence: Okay, then: Have you investigated about the work life of Ghulam Azam before, during and after the liberation war?

Witness: My report contains some of the details of the activities of Ghulam Azam before and after the liberation war and it also contains all the description of the activities of Ghulam Azam during the liberation war.

Defence: Ghulam Azam has visited the king of Saudi Arabia at Al Hamrah palace in March, 1975.

Witness: Yes.

Defence: From where you have got the information?

Witness: I have found the information from a person.

Defence: The informant also visited the king on the day when Ghulam Azam went to meet him.

Witness: Yes.

Defence: If you have any documents that the informant has met the king in March, 1975?

Witness: No, he has informed me orally.

Defence: When did Ghulam Azam return to Bangladesh after the liberation?

Witness: On 11th July, 1978, he has come from London by holding a Pakistani Passport.

Defence: He has come from London by holding a Pakistani Passport, from where you have got the information?

Witness: By my investigation.

Defence: How do you know that Dr. Ghulam Moajjem, brother of Ghulam Azam, stayed anytime in Saudi Arabia?

Witness: I have known about it from the statement of a witness.

Defence: Whether Misbahur Rahman Chowdhury has told you about the meeting of Ghulam Azam with the Saudi king?

Chairman: No, you should not ask him the name of the witness. You can just ask- whether any of the witness has told you about that?

Defence: Why My Lord? How can we then use it as an evidence during the argument?

Chairman: No you are not supposed to ask the name in anyway. You can ask if you have made the informant a witness for this case.

Defence: Okay I’m going to the next question.

Defence: If you have produced any Newspaper published from London and edited by Ghulam Azam as titled- Sonar Bangla?

Witness: No.

Defence: If there is any information in your case diary about whether Ghulam Azam has published any Newspaper from London?

Witness: No.

Defence: If you have seized any newspaper containing any article written by Ghulam Azam?

Witness: No.

Defence: Have you found it during the investigation that Ghulam Azam has claimed for Bangladeshi Nationality by surrendering the Passport to the proper authority after he has returned to Bangladesh from London by holding a Pakistani Passport.

Witness: It has not been mentioned in the report. But the Appellate division has sustained the judgment given by the High Court division about declaring the cancellation of Bangladeshi nationality of Ghulam Azam as void.
Chairman: Okay the Tribunal is adjourned till 2 P.M.

Following this and this  applications, the cross examination of the investigation officer in the Gholam Azam case continued.
Defence: Did you say in your deposition that ‘I brought a witness who met Golam Azam in London and Saudi Arabia?’

Witness: Yes. I said.

Defence: Did you interrogate Golam Azam during the period of your investigation?

Witness: No, I didn’t.

Defence: Did you send any information to him and ask whether he (Golam Azam) knew it at the time of investigation?

Witness: No, I didn’t.

Defence: You said that, Siru Miah was killed. Could you tell that how far Koirotola is from the then jail of Brahmanbaria?

Witness: Around 2 kilometers.

Defence: Did you get any Government report in favor of arresting and killing of Siru Miah and his son Anowar Kamal?

Witness: No, I didn’t get any Government report but I got the letter written by Anowar from jail and I got witnesses.

Defence: To send a letter from jail, proper jail authority had to allow it, isn’t it?

Witness: In that period no such normal situation existed.

Defence: Was there any Jail Super in Brahmanbaria Jail in 1971?

Witness: Might be, I didn’t go to investigate that.

Defence: The letter you are talking about was not sent through the jail authority.

Witness: I said it earlier that it was not through the jail authority but through the brother of Anowara Begum, Mr. Fazlur Rahman (who is also a witness) the letter was sent to Anowara Begum.

Defence: Who was the Sub-divisional officer of Brahmanbaria on 21st November 1971?

Witness: As much I got information, Mr. Ismail Hossain.

Defence: Didn’t you investigate who was the Jail Superindent?

Witness: No, I didn’t.

Defence: Did you scrutinize the documents relating to the arrestees of Brahmanbaria jail in1971?

Witness: No, I didn’t get those.

Defence: Could you collect the names of detainees of 1971 from Brahmanbaria Jail?

Witness: No.

Defence: Asking for any information, did you write any letter to the Jail Higher Authority? 
Witness: That was an unnatural situation of our country, I tried to collect information but failed.

Defence: Did you get to know about any person through your investigation named Chinu Miah?

Witness: Yes, I did

Defence: Did you interrogate him?

Witness: No, I didn’t find him.

Defence: Did you get his address?

Witness: Yes, I did.

Defence: Where did he live?

Witness: I can’t remember right at this moment.

Defence: Did you get to know the names of other 36 killed people except Siru Miah and Anowar Kamal?

Witness: I got the name of martyr Nazrul Islam and some others but I could not remember their names at this moment.

Defence: Did you get to know any family whose members disappeared in 1971?

Witness: There is no such thing in my record.

Defence: Is there any Freedom Fighters Association in Brahmanbaria?

Witness: Yes, there is.

Defence: Did you search there for any person acquainted with them (freedom fighters) who had disappeared in 71?
After asking this question the Tribunal intervened. The Tribunal suggested Mr. Defence that he is not supposed to ask question regarding certain facts. There were witnesses, he may asked them questions like that but the I.O. is not supposed to be asked this kind of questions, he may ask the regarding the procedure of his investigation but not regarding the facts. Then the prosecution lawyers also raised questions on this matter. Prosecution counsel said that, ‘this is the first time in my life I see that defense counsel putting forth in the middle of the cross examination.’ Defence also said that, ‘this is also first time I see that cross examination is being repeatedly disrupted.’ The defense counsel then said that, he had to establish the number of confirmed deaths, whether it was 38, or 3 and was about to continue when the chief prosecutor cut in. "Or none, for that murder. Perhaps no one was murdered." Then the tribunal chair chose to concentrate on the matter at hand and told the defense counsel that it did not matter whether there was one murder or 100, the question is Ghulam Azam's involvement. This is a charge under crimes against humanity and as such the questions of concern are whether those executed were civilians, whether those people belonged to a certain group, whether this is a crime under the domestic laws of Bangladesh and so forth.

Then defense counsel Defence said that he is unable to proceed on such interruption. Then the Judges told him to continue but he said that. He then requested that the tribunal adjourn the court and after some time the court was adjourned.

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