Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal ignores Defence Witnesses’ intimidation by Intelligence Personell

18 Oct

On 17th October 2012, The International Crimes Tribunal No.1 has been specifically informed by the Defence counsels about the intimidations of intelligence personnel to the Defence Witness for Allama Delwar Hossain Sayedee, the Tribunal failed to show any interest for their protection. They have specific powers under the Act & Rules to ensure protection for the witnesses. But that appears to only available to Prosecution witnesses, NOT for the Defense Witness.

The details of what happened on 17.10.2012 are given below:

ICT-BD. Dhaka. Case No 01 of 2011

                                                 Chief Prosecutor                                                

Versus

                                    Allama Delwar Hossain Sayedee

Date: 17th October 2012, Wednesday, 10:30am

Sub: For Recording Evidence of DW-13, 14, 15.

(The conversations are not accurate and cannot be quoted. These are brief summary of the conversations)

The accused was produced before the Tribunal. All judges took their seats at 10:35 am.

There were 3 Items in the Cause list.

  1. 1.     Applications in PGA case
 
  1. 2.     ICT-BD-CASE NO 01 of 2011

For Defense Witness

 

Chief Prosecutor        Versus

Delawar Hossain Sayedee (DHS)

  1. 3.     ICT-BD-CASE NO 6 of 2011

For Witness

 

Chief Prosecutor        Versus

Professor Golam Azam (PGA)

10: 35 am

Defence Counsel Mizanul Islam (MI) – In Item – 2 – DHS Case yesterday we gave list of 7 remaining Defence Witnesses (DWs). The court directed us to bring at least three DWs for today. This is why we called Emran Hossen of that list. He came from Jeshore. He is a school teacher and on last night the Head Master of the School called him in his mobile and requested him not to give any evidence in this case. The Head Master told Emran that yesterday the secret service people called the Head Master several times in his School and enquired about Emran. They told the Head Master that Emran should return to Jeshore without giving evidence in this case. The Head Master advised that Emran may lose his job if he do not listen to the Head Master.

Chairman (Ch) – what we can do?

MI – you may direct the school not to punish Emran for becoming a DW in this case. Otherwise this poor guy will lose his job. A witness should not suffer for becoming a DW.

Ch – no we will not pass any such order. If this DW is present today then we may at least take his evidence and release him so that he can return back.

MI – He is in the Tribunal Today.

10.40 am – Item – 1 – Application for Summon in PGA case.

11.37 am – Item – 2 – Recording of Defence Witnesses

Ch – we will record Emran as DW 14.

11.40 am

DW 14 – Emran Hossen took oath and examined by Monjur Ahmed Ansari.

11.50 am

Cross examination of DW 14 by Prosecutor Haider Ali (HA)

12.23 pm

Ch – Do you have DW 15, Call him.

MI – We have Abdus Salam Hawlader as DW 15 today. But DW – 13 is not complete yet. We want to complete DW 13.

Ch – No we will examine DW 15 now.

MI – this person is feeling very sick and is not fit to be examined now. Give him some time to feel better. We will call him after DW -13.

Ch – no call him now, immediately.

12.29 pm

DW – 15 – Abdus Salam Hawlader took oath and examined by Monjur Ahmed Ansari. (this witness was apparently sick).

12.54 pm

Cross examination of DW – 15 started by HA.

12.56 pm – adjourned for recess.

(DW – 15 became very sick and was vomiting. He could not take his lunch and was sleeping on a mat on floor of the defence room. He told the defence counsel that it was impossible for him to continue for today as he was feeling very sick. The defence counsels advised him that he should not leave the Tribunal without permission of the Tribunal and they would try to get the permission as soon as the tribunal sits at 2.00 pm)

2.05 pm – resumed after recess.

MI – DW 15 has become very sick. He was vomiting and was sleeping on floor on a mat. It is impossible for him to continue for today. You may release him for today and we will try to bring him tomorrow for remaining part of his cross examination. He is waiting downstairs in the defence room.

Ch – call him now. Have you consulted with any doctor or offer any medicine to him.

MI – No. He was taking rest in the defence room.

Ch – why you did not inform me earlier.

MI – its very short time. We thought we would inform you as soon as you raise.

Ch – lets see him.

2.13 pm

DW 15 came in the court room with help of a person.

Ch – come to the witness box. Give him a chair with handle. (DW 15 was sitting on chair and apparently very sick and coughing. The judges observed him in the doc for 7 minutes in the doc).

2.20 pm

Ch – can you talk.

DW 15 – I am feeling very sick. I cannot talk now.

Ch passed the following order:

DW 15 became very sick after his examination in chief. The defence counsel did not consult with any doctor or offer him any medicine. We are not satisfied that this witness cannot dispose. But since he is saying that he cannot talk we are releasing him now. It is the responsibility of the defence counsel to produce him during the defence case to complete remaining part of his cross examination.

MI – it appears that you are not believing us and the witness. We are not being equally treated. When a prosecution witness became sick you did not pass any such observation.

Ch – call DW 13 for remaining part of his XX.

2.30 pm

DW – 13 – Masood Sayedee took oath and cross examined by HA.

4.30 pm

Ch – adjourned for tomorrow. The defence should bring two more DW for tomorrow and the remaining three for Sunday. We will pass necessary order tomorrow.

End of the day’s proceedings –

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