Wednesday, March 20, 2013

4 Dec 2013: Sayedee defense closing, day 12

The day was set aside for the defense to complete its closing arguments in the Sayedee case (following on from the previous day). The day was a hartal and the defense lawyers were not present. (The summary of Sayedee defense closing arguments partly draws from defence lawyer's own notes of proceedings)

The tribunal chairman spoke to the accused and said that his counsel was not present, so what should they do.

Sayedee said that he could not advise but requested one thing. 'I am brought before the Tribunal with security. The judges and prosecutors also have security guards and as such they could come to the Tribunal. But my counsels do not have security guards. It is unsafe for them to come to the Tribunal in a hartal day. I will request you to adjourn my case for today. Tomorrow my counsels can continue their summing up arguments.'

The chairman said that the court could not sit idle. Your counsels were summing up the defence case. They have placed many arguments. But I think they are not complete yet and they may need more time. We can ask the prosecutor to give reply now. If your counsels wants to submit more arguments then we will consider.

The chairman passed an order saying that the defence summing up is closed but that if the defence applies for further summing up then we will consider.

He then asked for the prosecution to respond to the defense case. 

Sayedee said that he wanted to be sent back to the jail since he could not understand the prosecution arguments, and he needed his lawyers to be present. The chairman said that they could not do that, and he could recite the Holy Quran if he wished.

Prosecutor Haider Ali (HA)  made the following arguments
On the issue of Shikder/Sayedee, Haider said that during the safe house investigation the accused said that his name was Abu Nayem Md. Delwar Hossain and the name ‘Sayedee’ was given by his teacher.

Chairman; Did he say that his name was ‘Shikder’?

Prosecutor: ‘Shikder’ was his family name. We found a record of land in his village Sauthkhali, Pirojpur where his father and grandfather’s names were written as ‘Shikder’. We found this document recently. The accused’s son (DW 13) admitted in cross examination that they have land in village Southkhali.
Chairman: your 19(2) witness Gonesh Chondro Shaha became DW 17. What is evidentiary value of his 19(2) statement? It can only be used for contradiction. What is your view?

Prosecutor: the 19(2) statement of Gonesh is a document and you should consider that statement like a document.

Member Judge Jahangir Hossen (JH) – the defence has seriously raised the issue of credibility of the Investigation Officer (IO). It has been alleged that the IO submitted written statements in the names of PWs without interviewing them. He submitted 19(2) statement in the name of PW Usha Rani Malakar. But the defence has submitted a video where this lady denied making any allegation against the accused. She said that the accused did not kill her husband. What’s your reply on that?

Prosecutor: Gonesh admitted before the Tribunal that IO went to him. The defence failed to reveal anything in cross examination that the IO did not record the statements of the witnesses. The people of accused went to the PWs. They manipulated my PWs. We gave statements of PWs to the defence. Can they go to my PWs? How they can communicate with the PWs?

Chairman: the journalists went to the PWs and published news reports. We wanted to take steps against those journalists. But when Barrister Abdur Razzaq requested us to forgive those journalist we refrained from taking any action. He assured us that this type of incident will never happen. But despite that in their 19(2) review application they annexed those reports. They also annexed the video recordings of the PWs. The accused’s son (DW 13) admitted that they communicated with the PWs. Is it allowed? We must keep a note about this in our judgment. They applied for issuance of summon on Gonesh Chondro Shaha and Shukhoronjon Bali as DWs. We order that we would not issue summon and they were free to bring any witness. Thereafter on the next day they bring Gonesh Chondro Shaha as defense witness. They did not bring Shukhoronjon Bali on that day or the next day. Then we ordered to close the defence case and fixed 5th November for prosecution summing up argument. The defence is claiming that they brought Shukhoronjon Bali on 5th November 2012. In some of the news paper it was reported that Shukhoronjon Bali was also brought to the Tribunal on the day before i.e. on 4th November 2012 by concealing his name to the security persons. They are playing fraud upon the Tribunal.

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