Tuesday, March 19, 2013

18 Nov 2012: Sayedee defence closing day 1

The day was set for the beginning of defense closing arguments in the case of Sayedee. (To see last hearing of prosecution's closing arguments, click here)

The defence sought an adjournment on the basis that Abdur Razak was ill, but this was refused by the tribunal 

Sayedee then said that he wanted to say something. Although the Chairman said that he could not as his lawyer was present, he continued to do so. During the ‘speech. The tribunal asked the lawyer to intervene and one of the junior lawyers went to calm Sayedee down.
Sayedee: I have heard a mountain of false facts against me in the last two and half years. In the last 9 days I have heard the false facts presented by the Prosecution in their closing arguments against me. I would like to read out the 47th verse of the Holy Quran. 
Chairman: Could you please stop talking; your counsel will talk on behalf of you. 
Sayedee: It has been stated in the Holy Quran that- don’t cover up the truth by the false facts. You have only heard the false statements of the IO presented before you. It is not a fair way to hear anything. It is also a religious verse that says; don’t go for anything where you don’t have any direct knowledge about. The Justices are required to hear the speech of the accused. I think you are a pious man, you have observed the Hazz and you have stated that you do observe the Fazar prayer everyday. You are a Judge. A thousand facts might have come against the accused but how will you do Justice if you would not hear the speech of the accused? Since long days several Ministers used to talk misrepresenting things nowadays the Prime Minister has started to talk like this also. If I have really committed such sorts of crimes why do the people want observe the daily prayers behind him at the mosque? So, you have to hear me. 
Chairman: Mr. Mizan I request you to instruct the accused to please stop and we would like to see you starting the closing argument. 
A defense lawyer went to accused, but he continued to speak. 
Sayedee: There are two kinds of Judges. The religious verses say that- the person who will try the cases neutrally will go directly to the heaven but the biased judges will be thrown at the hell. The Judges are under great responsibilities to observe. So, I would like to remind - be careful about that. I was required to given a chance to speak.
Chairman: Okay we have heard you.
Justice Jahangir Hossain: We have heard you and we are thanking you. You have given the chance to say as you have stated before sometimes.
Chairman: Okay start up Mr. Counsel.
Mizanul Islam then started the summing up. (The summary of Sayedee defense closing arguments partly draws from defence lawyer's own notes of proceedings)

He said that he first wanted to remember the accused’s elder son Rafiq bin Sayedee who helped the defense in this case but died, and then Shukhoronjan Bali who 'wanted to tell the truth and was abducted by the law enforcing agencies in my presence from the Tribunal Premises.'

Concerning the name of the accused he said that in the formal charge  and the Charge framing order the accused is named as Delwar Hossain Sayeedi @ Delu @ Dellya @ Abu Nayeem Mohammad Delwar Hossain @ Allama Delwar Hossain Sayeedi. It was not alleged that the Accused was ever named as Delwar Shikder. But the PWs have stated that he was originally named as Delwar Shikder. This was never the Accused’s name and this is clear from the prosecution’s own exhibited document.

He said that it was alleged that at the beginning of liberation war the accused was selling groceries on the road side and was also selling tooth medicine as an hawker. It was alleged that not very well known at that time. On the other hand it is alleged that this person became the main leader of Rajakar and Peace Committee during the liberation war and the Pakistani Army used to take direction from him. These claims are contradictory and impractical.

Concerning the Alibi, the lawyer said two prosecution witnesses stated that after the liberation war the accused went in hiding in Jeshore in Rowshan’s house. None of them have claimed to have seen the Accused in Rowshan’s house at that time. They are not Rowshan’s neighbors. They are president and secretary of local Awami League. The Investigation Officer (in his cross examination has admitted that he visited Rowshan’s house during investigation and has taken his statement. But he did not make Rowshan a prosecution witness. Why? Rowshan would have been a best witness for prosecution to prove this. You have seen that later on Rowshan has became a DW and has stated that the Accused was in his house during the liberation war and NOT after the liberation war as alleged by the prosecution. I will give my detailed submission on this later on. But this single DW is sufficient to prove that all these allegations against the Accused are false.

He said that this case has commenced by the complaint of PW 1 before the Investigation Agency dated 20.10.2010. In this complaint PW 1 complained that the accused was expelled from Sharshina madrasha in 1960 for his involvement with Jamaat politics. This same person has filed a case against Sayedee on 30.08.2009 before Pirojpur court where there wasno such allegation. So it is clear that the allegations in Exhibit 1 are concocted.

He then talked about how prosecution one has named 7/8 perpetrators including Sayedee who was named in the last serial number of the complaint. He admitted that 3/4 of these persons are still alive. But he only sought to prosecute Sayedee. This indicates political motive of this trial. In any trial if the allegation is against several persons then everyone are prosecuted. But in this present case despite several other accused, the proceeding is continued only against Sayedee. All of you are serving as judges for long time. Have you ever seen this type of discrepancy in any other case? One of the other accused is Moslem Mowlana who is still alive and a leader of Awami League. This may be the reason for not including him in the present case.  'Till today I have observed nearly thousands of FIRs but I have not seen anywhere that only action has been urged to be taken against only one person where the names of 10 accused have been affixed.'  

If the complaint is made against many persons in the Pirojpur court (Defence Exhibit – F) then why did prosecution witness one want to prosecution against DHS only (Prosecution Exhibit – 1). Why did the IO investigation only DHS? Why he did not investigate against other accused in Exhibit F and 1? This shows the malafide motive behind this trial. There was an investigation officer of Exhibit F case who was also a prosecution witness in this case, but the Prosecution did not call that person to give evidence. Probably the prosecution did not want him to face our cross examination.

He then made the following comments about prosecution witness no 1 (PW1)
- PW 1 claimed that burnt tins and door frames of PW 6’s house were seized on 8th May 2010/2011. We will show later on that it is not correct.

- PW 1 claimed that IO carried photocopy machine in his brief case by which he photocopied some documents in front of him in the remote village. This cannot be practical. This person was clearly lying. In fact these documents were prepared earlier. He said that you cannot find any photocopy machine in Bangladesh that can be taken in a brief case.

- PW 1 claimed that in 1960 the Accused was expelled from Shahshina Madrasha after proper investigation. But he admitted in cross examination that he never went to Sharshina Madrasah, does not know any other student or teacher of that institution, does not know who investigated against the accused. He admitted that he does not know anything about this. So this allegation was only brought to humiliate the accused and link him with Jamaat in 1960, which is an afterthought.

- PW 1 admitted that in 2006 he applied for help as poor freedom fighter. He also admitted that in his application he did not mention that his house was looted in 1971. But now in the present case he is claiming that his house was looted by the accused.

- PW 1 admitted that his 2nd wife is getting benefit of ‘one house one firm project’ of the government. We will show that according to law his wife was not entitled to get this benefit. But despite that PW 1’s family is getting this benefit illegally recently, probably for his filing the complaint against the Accused.

- PW 1 claimed to be a secret agent of freedom fighters for the whole Pirojpur area during the liberation war. But he admitted in cross examination that he did not know the leaders of Rajakar, Peace Committee of different parts of Pirojpur. He also has admitted to have not known many renowned freedom fighters of Pirojpur. Had he been a secret agent he would have known these.

- PW 1 admitted in cross examination that his report to the Government in 2009 states that there was no Rape Victim in Zianagar Upazila. But the prosecution alleged many rape against Sayedee in that area. This report was a prosecution document in Vol 1, starting from page 202. But the prosecution did not exhibit this report.

- The same report of PW 1 provides a list of 26 victims who were killed in Boleshor River bank. This list include Bishabali in serial 3. But PW 1 said in his EIC that Bishabali was killed in his house at the instruction of DHS (Charge 8) which is 7/8 miles from the Boleshor River bank.

The chairman said that the last point may have been the result of bureaucracy. PW 1 said that he wanted to give a detailed report, but the UNO (Union Administrative Officer) wanted a short report, and that is why he listed all the victims under one head – and it does not mean were not killed in the same place.

Mizanul Islam, the defence lawyer replied that you will find that number 26 on the list is Ibrahim Kutti and after the name there is an explanation in the bracket which says that this victim was taken from his father in law’s house and killed near parerhat bridge. We will submit on Ibrahim Kutti murder later on (charge 8). But we can say that if PW 1 had a different explanation about Bishabali murder he would have said so as he did for murder of Ibrahim Kutti. In cross examination the PW 1 also admitted that no government official was involved in making that report. It was PW1’s own report and it is contradictory to the statement made before the Tribunal.

- PW 1 admitted that in his SSC registration his date of birth is 20.03.1959. So he was only about 12 years at the time of liberation war. It is a very early age for someone to become a secret agent of a war. PW 1 claimed to be of 17/18 at that time. Though in Bangladesh it is a common practice to reduce age in educational certificate. But reduction of 6 years is unprecedented.

- PW 1 admitted that before 2009 he did not file any complaint against Sayedee though from December 1971 to August 1975 and 1996 to 2001 his party Awami League was in power.

- PW 1 claimed he filed the complaint voluntarily and that he did not know about the office of Investigation Agency in Dhaka to file the complaint on 20.10.2010. He said that he was taken there by PW 3 Mijanur Rahman. But PW 3 in cross examination said that he did not meet PW 1 at that time. This proves that PW 1 was in fact lying. He had previous communication with IO and knew his office from before. This complaint was in fact prepared by the IO and PW 1 merely signed it.

- On what basis can PW 1 say that the Accused was expelled from that madrasha after investigation for his involvement with Jamaat in 1960. He admitted that he did not know anything about the Madrasha. This single event is sufficient to prove that PW 1 was not honest in his EiC and he concocted stories against DHS.

End of morning session 

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