Sunday, February 17, 2013

12 Jul 2012: Molla 2nd witness cross exam, day 2

Tribunal 2

Defense Counsel Farid Uddin Khan, acting for Quader Molla, told the tribunal that they were submitting their documents that day - 11 volumes. He said that they had not yet completed the witness list. He said that they needed more time to submit the list of an additional 6 witnesses.
Justice (Chairman): No, you are not complying the order of Court.

Judge (Md. Shahinur Islam): You are not following the Law.

Defense Counsel (Farid Uddin Khan): My Lord, this type of practices regarding International Law is new in Bangladesh. We want to co-operate. Please give us two weeks time.

Justices: No, you are not co-operating. How much more time will we give you?

Prosecutor: My Lord, under sections 9 (5) of the Act, there is no scope of this type of submission.

Defense Counsel (Farid Uddin Khan): My Lord, if we get minimum one week time, we will be ready 100% and submit all.

Justice (Obaidul Hassan): If we give no time?

Defense Counsel (Ekramul Haque): Please my Lord, only one week!

Justice (Chairman): You’ve to submit the witness list within 15 July.
The defense counsel Tajul Islam then got up and referred to the documents that the defense have submitted. 'My Lord, we’ve submitted our documents. We’ve collected some video statement and interview of this witness which are contradictory to his statement given in this witness box. We’ve the right to draw benefit from his video statement. Will we not get the chance to cross examine him regarding his contradictory video statement?'

Justice: Have you given any copy of these CDs to the Prosecutor?

Defense Counsel (Farid Uddin Khan): Yes, my Lord.

Prosecutor (Mohammad Ali): We’ve just got it, but found no opportunity to watch them.

Defense Counsel (Tajul Islam): This is not our headache whether the Prosecutor got chance to watch those videos or not.

Justice (Obaidul Hassan): Why did you not say this at the beginning?

Defense Counsel (Tajul Islam): We drew attention of the Tribunal earlier demanding arrangement of projector. If the trial starts without such arrangement then whose fault is that? We want to show his video to him; the both parties will watch it. We do not want to show any banned video. Then how does the question of prejudice arise?

Prosecutor (Jeyad Al Malum): This video is prepared by defense party. So, we must be given chance at first to watch and examine this.

Defense Counsel (Ekramul Haque): As the witness will leave the country soon, it would be easier for us to examine him after watching the video.

Prosecutor (Mohammad Ali): There is no scope to execute the video under section 9 (5) of the Act. I strongly object to the projection of video.

Justice (Chairman): As you’ve supplied the CD to us, we will watch it. You’ve watched the video. Haven’t you? Then start your examination accordingly. 

The cross examination of the witness, Sohidul Hoque Mama, then continued. This followed on from the previous day's questioning
Defence: See, I have not much questions to ask. You said, you were admitted in Dhaka University in 1973. Now, when did you meet Quader Mollah first?

Witness: What is the necessity to meet him? I never went to give him interview and never took his interview. I saw him every day to canvass in favor of Golam Azam as well as ‘Dari Palla’ in 1970.

Defence: In which area?

Witness: I saw him canvass in Mirpur area.

Defence: In 1970, Qudaer Mollah canvassed in favor of ‘Dari Palla’, you canvassed in favor of ‘Nowka’. And others canvassed in favor of their interest. Now, at the time of canvass for election did you have any introduction with Quader Mollah?

Witness: Impossible, my Lord! I saw him to arrange meetings and processions.

Defence: Did you know from where Quader Mollah comes and where did he live?

Witness: I do not save that information in my computer, but I knew, his permanent address was at Faridpur. And he canvassed in favor of ‘Dari Palla’ at Mirpur 12, Duwari Para, Muslim Bazar, Pike Para areas.

At that moment the Prosecutor started telling something.

Defence: My Lord, Mr. Prosecutor is disturbing me.

Justice (Chairman): Mr. Prosecutor, don’t interfere.

Prosecutor (Mohammad Ali): My Lord, I am trying to draw your attention.

Justice (Chairman): No need, sit down.

Defence: Did Quader Mollah live at Mohammadpur and Mirpur area as renter or owner?

Witness: I did not feel a need to know this information.

Defence: You said about S.A. Khaleque. Is he alive now?

Witness: Most probably, yes. He was the owner of Beauty cinema hall of Mirpur.

Defence: You said in your statement that most probably you came in Bangladesh this time on 26th May, 2012.

Witness: Why are you telling lie? I said, I came in Bangladesh on 26th January.

Defence: Sorry [after considering computer print]. After coming on 26th January, have you been given any interview to any TV channel or Newspaper?

Witness: I come Bangladesh from abroad being inspired of Liberation War. Yes, I gave numerous interviews.

Defence: A program named ‘Ranangan’ was telecasted at BTV. You gave interview there on 20th April, 2012. Is it true?

Witness: I said, I’ve given numerous interviews. Now, the program is whether ‘Ranangan’ or ‘Muktangan’ that I can’t remember.

Defence: That program was telecasted at 11.00 pm at that night. At that program, you gave the description of the Liberation War of Mirpur and Mohammadpur area from 25th March, 1971 to 31st January, 1972.

Witness: I have said many things in many channels.

Defence: In your elaborated description, you said very truth speech. Didn’t you?

Witness: I never tell lie in my life.

Defence: The description, which you you gave in TV channels and Newspapers regarding Liberation war from 25th March, 1971 to 31st January, 1972 was true. Am I correct?

Witness: I can’t remember all things what I told. I tried my best to speak true. I pray five times in every day. But often, the journalists publish more or less than what has been told. There I have no responsibilities.

Defence: The words that emerge from your mouth are true, isn’t it?

Witness: Words always emerge from mouth, not from air. Sir, journalists always work with risk of their lives. Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, Tofazzal Hossain Manik were famous journalists of our nation. In 14th December, 1971, many patriot journalists lost their lives. And sometimes to perform their duties, some faults may occur.

Defence: Have you given any interview to any investigation officer?

Witness: Yes, I gave. I gave that interview in a historical day, which was the birth day of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibor Rahman, on 17th March, 2012.

Defence: Where?

Witness: At my home of Rupnagar.

Defence: Any picture taken from 25th March, 1971 to 31st January, 1972 or documents or pictures indicating that you were a freedom fighter or any news of a newspaper – have you submitted such type of documents in Court?

Witness: Nobody asked me, so I didn’t submit. I don’t know, whether others submitted or not.

Listen, not a few photos are captured by the journalists. I do not get time to read every newspaper every day. When journalists came, I talked with them freely. I can’t remember everything.

Defence: You are giving statement against Quader Mollah. I am saying, you never saw Quader Mollah at Mohammadpur and Mirpur area.

Witness: This is your statement. This is not true.

Defence: The description you gave regarding the killing of Pallab, making conflagration at residential areas, torture, genocide, rape and loot- all these statements are false.

Witness: This is not true. You used the word rape. If Quader Mollah committed rape openly at any place, that he knows himself. All I know have stated clearly.

Defence: The prominent leader of ‘Islami Chhatra Sangha’ at that time was Quader Mollah; Meherunnesa and his relatives were killed according to his order- I am saying, these type of occurrence never occurred.

Witness: This is not true.

Defence: You told, Abu Taleb and others were killed by the hints of Quader Mollah.

Witness: Have I told about Abu Taleb? Listen, you may try as much as you want to twist the matters, I will be strong in my position.

Defence: You told that, Osman Gani and Golam Mostafa were killed..

At that moment, the Justices, Prosecutor and witness objected that it was not told by this witness, but was told by the 1st witness.

Defence: You told about the butchery of Mirpur. Do you have any picture of that area? You haven’t submitted any document in the Court relating to your life of freedom fighter and return of arms.

Witness: How strange question it is! You never demanded, so I haven’t submitted.

Defence: In which date did you return your arms?

Witness: According to the order of Bangabandhu, immediately after liberation. I can’t remember the accurate date.

Defence: Listen, you gave statement to the investigation officer against Quader Mollah. But you never told anything against him to anybody else earlier.

Witness: False it is!

Defence: We’ve collected a documentary named ‘Mirpur the Last Frontier’. That program was broadcasted at BTV. The director is Sagir Mostafa. You didn’t utter the name of Quader Mollah at that program. I am saying, after 7th March, 1971 to 31st January, 1972, Quader Mollah was not in Dhaka.

Witness: This is not true.

Defence: And, he never participated in any political canvass in favor of Golam Azam.

Witness: Really!?

Defence: As you support Awami League as your own team, you relate him with this case for that political reason. And, the statement against Quader Mollah you given, is not correct.

Witness: This is not true.

Defence: In that documentary which was telecasted at BTV..

Judge (Shahinur Islam): Specifically mention the date of telecast.

[The defense counsels were little bit confused about the date of telecast and other relevant information relating to that documentary. ]

Justice: If you can't remember, then how do you expect that the witness will remember?

Defense Counsel (Farid Uddin Khan): We are praying time to telecast the documentary.

Witness: My Lord, if I am given chance to give supplementary speech, then it would turn into a novel. The picture and documents which are existing in my memory, if I start to speak those, then I’ve to come one month in this witness box.

Defence: My examination is about to complete.

Defense Counsel (Abdur Razzak): My Lord, you’ve given objection regarding the date of telecast and the authority prepared that documentary. As the witness resides abroad, we may be permitted to start with the information we have.

Justice (Chairman): If you don’t mention the date, then how can he recall it?

Defense Counsel (Abdur Razzak): A documentary is something more than a simple document.

‘Mirpur the Last Frontier’ was not telecasted in any channel. It is a documentary.

Judge (Shahinur Islam): He may not recall it now.
At that moment, the witness started to say something. But Mr Abdur Razzak told that the witness is not allowed to interfere.
Defence: The name of the program was ‘Ekattorer Ronanganer Dinguli’ and the name of the documentary was ‘Mirpur the Last Frontier-1’ prepared by Sagir Mostafa. Have you any knowledge about these?

Witness: I’ve attended numerous programs. I can’t remember at this moment.

Defence: Another one is ‘Mirpur the Last Frontier-2’. As you have given interview to many persons…

Judge (Shahinur Islam): There is no similarity between documentary and interview.

Defence: after watching, can you recall that?

Witness: Time will say whether after watching, I could remember or not.

Defence: There is a prayer my Lord, as the physique of the witness is not well and he resides abroad, if the pictures were shown through the projector, then he could identify them.

Prosecutor (Mohammad Ali): There is no scope under Law.

Justice (Chairman): We will understand after watching those.

Defence: That’s all, my Lord.
The cross examination finished, and the prosecutor then applied that the evidence of the next two witnesses should be taken in camera.
Prosecutor (Mohammad Ali): My Lord, we are drawing attention to 1st page of the list of witnesses we’ve submitted; witness [name omitted] and [name omitted]- they are the victims of the occurrence. Particularly, I would like to refer the occurrence of [the first one]. Firstly, she is the victim. She lost all her family members in Liberation War. Subsequently, she has got a husband. She has son and daughter. The daughter is about 18 years old and about to be married. She resides in such a place that if the truth is disclosed, then there is apprehension to be attacked. Particularly, for the sake of security, she does not want to disclose the fact in public, but in camera trial. So, considering the family condition, confidentiality and safety, the best way to examine the witness, particularly this lady, is to examine in camera under Rule 58 (A) and proviso of section 10 (4).

Defense Counsel (Abdur Razzak): Now they are saying many things which they never said earlier. When they want the proceedings in camera, please let us know earlier.
The chairman then passed the following order:
This is an application under section 10(4) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973, by which the learned Prosecutor Mohammad Ali submits that, Momena Begum and Rokhsana Khatun- these two female witnesses belong to respectable Muslim families who were victims of 1971. Considering their conditions, safety and confidentiality, they are permitted to take witness in camera.

Having considered the submission of both sides, we are respectful to the dignity of witnesses.

Therefore, the prayer is allowed on following conditions:

1) At the time of statement by the witnesses, two advocates of both parties would be present.

2) Members of the public and journalists would not be allowed to present at the time of giving statement.

3) The conducting advocates shall maintain secrecy and shall not disclose the facts under Rule 58 (A).

We assure the right of accused and fair justice.
Defense Counsel (Abdur Razzak): My Lord, for practical reason, we need 3 advocates.

Justice (Chairman): Ok.

The next date is 17/7/2012 for examination of two female witnesses in camera proceeding.

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