Monday, September 16, 2013

Quader Molla appeal, day 6

18 April 2013

It should be noted that there are 2 appeals relating to Quader Molla. The first one (Criminal Appeal No. 39) has been lodged by the counsels of the accused petitioner Delwar Hossain Sayedee seeking an overturn of the guilty verdicts, and the second one (Criminal Appeal No. 40) has been lodged by the Chief Prosecutor of ICT seeking a change in senctence to one of the death penalty.

In relation to the appeal by the defence, this was heard at 11 am. The court fixed the date for formal hearing on this matter.

On behalf of the state the Attorney General, an additional attorney general and a prosecutor from ICT was present. On behalf of the accused petitioner, senior counsel Barrister Abdur Razzaq, Barrister Tanvir Al-Amin, Tazul Islam and some other counsels were present.

One of the state counsels went to the dais and the Chief Justice asked whether he had received 'the paper book from the defense. The counsel replied, “No, my lord.” The CJ then said, “but they have already submitted it (paper book)”. The counsel then replied, “Yes, my lord. I have been informed about the fact but I have not received it yet.” Then the CJ asked him, “Have you submitted the concise statement supporting your appeal. The counsel said, “Not yet, my lord but I can submit it within 3 days, my lord.” The counsel then sat down.

The counsel for Sayedee Mr Abdur Razzaq came to the dais and CJ asked, “Yes, Mr Razzaq. Have you submitted the concise statement?” Mr Razzaq replied, “Not yet, my lord.” CJ then said, “In one case (No. 39) you are the petitioner and in another case (No. 40) you are the Respondent. Thus, you need to submit 2 concise statements. Please submit both of the concise statements within a week.”

Mr Razzaq replied, “This is a huge case, my lord.” It is not possible to submit the concise statement within a week.” In response to that the CJ said, “Both the parties have appealed in this matter. As you are saying that 1 week is not sufficient for you to submit the concise statement, we hope that you will submit it within 2 weeks. Please keep in mind this a special law and there is a time frame.”

Mr Razzaq then replied, “My lord, the time frame is directory; not mandatory.” CJ then made his order, “Ok, the matter is adjourned until 2nd May i.e. 2 weeks time from now. You (both of the parties) will submit and exchange the concise statement in the meantime. We shall hear the matter from 2nd May.” Then court adjourned until 12 pm for tea-break.

Following on from this, the court then dealt with the state appeal.

The prosecutor of the ICT went to the dais and continued to read out from paragraph 345 of the judgement. He had previously completed reading out upto paragraph 344 before the bench started to hear and reject the recusal application.

The counsel finished up reading out the judgement at 1:20 pm.

After the state counsel was done with reading out the judgement, senior counsel for accused petitioner, Mr Abdur Razzaq went to the dais and submitted a time petition on the ground that the chief counsel for accused petitioner has gone abroad to the UK for treatment. He informed the bench that he will be back on 24th and will be able to attend the hearing from 25th April. In response, the CJ said, “You are one of the senior counsels and you are here. And there are 2 appeals.” At this stage an ICT Prosecutor stood up and suggested the bench, “We can continue.” In reply Mr Razzaq said, “My humble prayer before your lordship, please let him come; he is lawyer in this case.” However, the CJ decided, “Let us proceed. We shall hear the petition for adjournment on Sunday.”

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