Sunday, February 17, 2013

13 Aug 2012: Mollah 7th witness cross exam, day 2

Prior to the cross-examination of the seventh prosecution witness, the defense counsel Tajul Islam, said that 'Prosecutor has brought two new witnesses, whose names we have not been given to us on a previous day. We should be given reasonable time to take reasonable preparation. This is a cunning practice my Lord by which we are being severely prejudiced.'

Prosecutor (Mohammad Ali): The word ‘cunning’ should be withdrawn by my beloved defense counsel. 4/5 days ago I’ve already mentioned the names.

Defense Counsel (Tajul Islam): He didn’t tell which specific witness would come.

Tribunal: You both are correct. You (Defense) will be given sufficient time.

The cross examination of Abdul Majid Palwan, the seventh witness in the Molla case, then continued. This followed on from the previous day.
Defence: How many residents lived in your village containing five Mohallas in 1971?

Witness: About 1,000.

Defence: Did you give vote in last election?

Witness: Yes, I gave.

Defence: Md. Farhad Hossain, Md. Shahidul Islam, Md Farid Hossain- are they your sons?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Did these three sons also give vote in last election?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Are the dates of birth and other information mentioned in the voter list of those three correct?

Witness: I can’t say.

Defence: Did you give the information mentioned in the voter list of those three sons?

Witness: No, I didn’t give. I was not there.

Defence: Are your three sons educated?

Witness: Yes, they took education.

Defence: Please examine whether your name, address and date of birth is correct or not in this copy of voter list.

Witness: I don’t know about my date of birth. So I can’t say whether that is correct or not. My name and address is correct here.

Defence: You told in your statement that, about 60 people were killed. Were the members of their families present in the village at the day of incident?

Witness: Yes, they were.

Defence: Are the members of their families present in the village now?

Witness: Some are alive, some died.

Defence: Can you say, those 60 people were of whom sons or brothers?

Witness: I can’t say the name of all. I can say 2 or 4 or 10 people’s names.

Defence: Did any relatives of those dead people come to identify the dead bodies?

Witness: Some came, many didn’t come. All were crying.

Defence: Were the dead bodies brought to the respective homes?

Witness: No, those were buried in the field.

Defence: Tell 2 or 4 or 10 relatives’ names of those dead people.

Witness: 2 brothers of Tyeb Ali were dead, Tyeb Ali is alive now. 1 brother of Samiruddin Samu was dead, Samiruddin Samu is alive now. Mujahid was dead, his brother Ukiluddin is alive now. There is a stone in our area mentioning the names of departed people of that incident. At this moment, I can’t remember all of their or their relatives’ names. I can’t remember any more names besides the names mentioned above.

Defence: Do you know, whether any relatives of the departed people of that incident are witnesses of this case or not?

Witness: I don’t know.

Defence: Can you mention the English date in which you gave your statement to the Investigation Officer?

Witness: In the month of June.

Defence: Whom did you call after the Pak army left your area?

Witness: I called Islam, Shukur Ali, Tamijuddin Matbar, Najimuddin, Borhanuddin and also other 2/4 people.

Defence: Any of them are not the witness of this case. Am I correct?

Witness: I don’t know.

Defence: Had you shown the tree to the Investigation Officer behind which you hid yourself at the time of the incident?

Witness: I didn’t show, but told him about the tree.

Defence: Where did the Investigation Officer ask you questions?

Witness: In Dhaka, at Investigation Office.

Defence: How were you called?

Witness: Through letter.

Defence: Is the letter with you?

Witness: That is not with me at this moment.

Defence: What was the distance of your home from freedom fighter commander Muzaffar Khan’s home?

Witness: About 1.5 km west.

Defence: What is located between his home and your home?

Witness: There was a pond and land. Now houses have been built in empty places.

Defence: Who else were present when you were describing about the incident to Muzaffar Khan?

Witness: The villagers were present; for example, Lal Chan, Malek, Khalek Bhai, Shahidul Islam, Raja Mia and many others. Most of them are alive now.

Defence: Is Bhawal Khanbari in your village?

Witness: Muzaffar Khan’s home is Bhawal Khanbari.

Defence: Did you tell to the Investigation Officer that your village was consisted of 5 Mohallas?

Witness: Yes, I told.

Defence: In early morning of 25th November, 1971 you heard the sound of firing. Getting up from sleep, you got out to the courtyard and saw that the surrounding had been burning with fire. The sound of firing came from north side. Then you gradually started to the north side and stopped after reaching field of Ghatarchar School- did you tell these to the Investigation Officer?

Witness: Yes, I told.

[After that, the Defense Counsel took the contradiction. Most of the sentences of the statement given by the witness were read out by the defense counsel, and by the direction of the Tribunal the typist copied and pasted that portion. Then, that portion was asked by the defense counsel to the witness- “You have not told these to the Investigation officer”. The witness replied that, “This is not true”.]

Defence: In which rank are you of Awami League?

Witness: I am the President of Ward Awami League.

Defence: Who is the Secretary of your Ward?

Witness: Islam Uddin.

Defence: Are your sons and family members involved with Awami League?

Witness: My sons do not participate in politics.

Defence: Are there Hindu peoples in the Hindu Mahalla of your area till now?

Witness: Many Hindus have left the area. Now, Hindu and Muslims together live there.

Defence: Are the Awami League supporters of your area existed like previous time?

Witness: No, now the supporters of Awami League are about 50% of the villagers.

Defence: How many people live in your village containing 5 Mohallas now?

Witness: About 5,000 people.

Defence: You never saw accused Quader Mollah before besides this dock.

Witness: This is not true. I saw him.

Defence: You are identifying Quader Mollah for this first time as you are taught by the Prosecution.

Witness: This is not true.

Defence: As you are a follower of the political team of this Govt., so you are giving witness as they have taught you.

Witness: This is not true.

Defence: Quader Mollah did not used to wear ‘Payjama and Panjabi’ at the time of the incident.

Witness: I saw him wearing ‘Payjama and Panjabi’

Defence: You told lie that you watched the incident hiding inside the bushes.

Witness: This is not true.

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