Key Witness declared ‘missing’ by the Prosecution…gives Deposition as Defence Witness: ‘It was Pakistan Military who killed my mother, Saydee not involved’

27 Oct

On 23rd November, a witness listed by the prosecution to prove their case against Allama Dlwar Hossain Saydee deposed as Defence witness and claimed that Mr Saydee had no relationship what so ever with the alleged murder of his mother. Gonesh Chandra Saha deposed as Defence Witness No. 17. This was widely published in the press.

The most crucial issue which many press missed is that Mr Gonesh Chandra Saha is one of the Prosecution Witnesses who were declared ‘Missing’ by the Prosecution. Later of the Prosecution applied to the tribunal to accept the missing witnesses’ purported ‘Statement’ given before the Investigation officer (under Section 19(2) of the1973 Act) as evidence as if they were deposition before the tribunal. Defence vehemently opposed the application on the ground that there is no way verify whether the Investigation Officer recorded actual statement since the statement submitted by prosecution did not contain signature of the Witnesses. Despite clear possibility of abuse, the Tribunal 0n 29th March 2012, accepted written unsigned statement of 15 witnesses as evidence as if they appeared before the Tribunal and testified.

Later, Defence dug out documentary evidence to prove that, around 8 of theses ‘missing’ witnesses were held in a Government building and was tried to forcefully give untrue evidence against Mr Saydee (for details please visit https://ictbdwatch.wordpress.com/2012/06/)

Mr Gonesh Chandra Saha is one of those Prosecution Witnesses who were claimed by the prosecution as ‘Missing’ and his unsigned statement was accepted by the Tribunal as evidence against Mr Saydee. The translation of the  Statement of Gonesh Chandra Saha purportedly given before the Investigation Officer is quoted here (See below the 23rd November 2012 deposition.)

Now, on 23rd November 2012, Mr Gonesh Chandra Saha appeared and deposed before the Tribunal as Defence Witness. His live testimony differs fundamentally from the statement purportedly given before the Investigation Officer. Mr Saha in his live testimony totally denied giving any evidence implicating Mr Saydee but the purported statement submitted by the prosecution suggested that Mr Saha has claimed to have known Mr Saydee’s involvement in his mother’s murder. The full live testimony (translated) & prosecution’s cross examination is given verbatim below.

Finally, Gonesh Chandra Saha’s live testimony poses serious question as to the authenticity of the purported Statements of the remaining 14prosecution witnesses. At least 3 of them gave Television interviews denying giving any statement to the Investigation Officer. Later, the leaked Register books showed detention of 8 of those witnesses in Government building on the same day the Prosecution claimed them to be missing. These witnesses in private alleged that they were subjected to degrading treatment in that detention facility and were coerced to give untrue testimony against Mr Saydee but since they refused, they were declared to be missing by the prosecution. Defence claimed that the Investigators & Prosecutors have clearly committed fraud upon the Tribunal; but most surprisingly the Tribunal did not even try to independently enquire whether such fraud or any misconduct did take place. Tribunal simply sidestepped and ignored such gross violations, which invites the Question…. Is it Fair Trial which this tribunal strives for or mere declaration of predetermined Judgment?

Defence Witness -17 Gonesh Chadra Saha

Days Date Time Chief/Cross Page
23-10-2012 10:40- 11:08 am

11:20- 11:56pm

Chief

Cross.

1-3

10.40 am

My name is Gonesh Chandra Saha. My faher’s name is Priyonath Saha; Mother’s name is Vagirothi Saha. I am about 51 years old. My mother Vagirothi Saha died in 1971. Freedom fighters used to live in our house. My mother used to work in Pakistani Military camp. My mother used to give different news to the freedom fighters. Motiur Rahman Sordar, Kalu Molla, Jolil Molla, Hanif Khan were freedom fighters. Motiur Rahman Sordar is now the Chairman of Pirojpur Upozilla. My mother used to come home at night and go to Camp at morning. My mother  would not let us listen what she used to talk with the Freedom fighters. After some days, Military came in our Bagmara Village then there was a battle between military and freedom fighters. 10 military personnel were died. Leaving their arms, military flee to Pirojpur. My mother was in Pirojpur Military Camp. On that day my mother did not came back home. On the following day we, two brothers, went out to search our mother. The name of my other bother was Kartik Chandra Saha, he is no more. At about 12:00 noon we heard that a woman were caught and she was my mother. We also listened that militaries tied her wrist and leg by rope and she were dragged by a car to the bank of River. After reaching there we saw our mother seriously injured. Five persons were sitting in the car. My mother was killed and her dead body were left in the Char (Mini Island). Among these five, four were armed and the rest were driver. All were in khaki dress. I knew none of them. I did not understand what they say. After a while they driven the car and left the place. I saw no Rajakars with them. I knew none of them. About one and half years ago I knew that I am a witness in this case. I knew in Boishakh month. Journalists and the personnel’s of the Court went to me (to know) about my mother’s death. They have listened from me about my mother’s death. I give testimony for the first time about my mother’s death. At the end of the Boisakh Month, brother Rafiq meet me about giving testimony in this case. He asked me- whom did kill your mother?

I replied – Militaries killed.

Then he asked- did any one also kill your mother?

I replied- No, only Pakistani Army killed my mother.

Then he said – please say by taking swear.

I replied – No fearing that the Government people will kill me.

The story of my mother’s killing is available in Drama and Novels, everyone is watching, it is being played every year. Novel and Drama is played in Pirojpur. Except him none asked my anything.

Brother Rafiq asked me – did my father killed your mother?

I asked him – who is your father?

He replied – Mr. Sayedee is my father.

Then I replied – No, he did not kill my mother.  This is my statement.

11.20 am

Cross examination by Persecution Counsel.

Brother Rafiq went my house only once and I saw him only one day. At the end of ‘Boishakh’ he went to Pirojpur for a Religious gathering or meeting. ‘Boishakh’ were 7 months ago from now. I did not go to listen sermon. I was in the field while he went in my house; I was called by mobile phone. Another gentle man went along with him in my house. The other gentle man was Nanna Miya, I know him, and he may be Uncle of Brother Rafiq. Except this day none went to my house in any other day. I asked him why he was asking me this question. He replied that – I do not know who killed your mother, so we are here to know, it is necessary for us to know. I did not ask him why he wanted to know this matter after a long time. He went to my home only to know this matter, he went no other house. Vagirothi circle is made at Pirojpur as per my mother’s name. Some personnel’s of court went to me at the last ‘falgun’, they said we are from the Court, we are for investigation. They did not say their name whom did go, but they said that they were from Dhaka. I also did not ask them their names. After a week they went again. I have said to the Court personnel that who killed my mother and what happened to her.

I did not see Rajakas at the time of liberation war. I have heard about Rajakars. The liberation war of 1971 was a battle between freedom fighters and Militaries, I knew only that. I have heard that Rajakars helped to kill people and they also killed. It may be that the chief of investigation team was Helal Uddin.

(It was asked to the witness that whether the person present in the Court room was the person from the court?

The witness said- yes.)

Mr. Sayedee’s son asked me whether I have filed a case against his father or not?

I have said – no.

Then he said – can you please say this in the court.

I replied – yes, and to say this I am here to give testimony. It is not true that Mr. Delawar Hossain Sayedee of Parerhat had a direct involvement in my mother’s killing. It is not true that Mr. Rafiq and his uncle and his supporters have given me money and make me understand wrongly and brought me to the Tribunal. Mr. Nanna brought me from Pirojpur; I stayed with him in a hotel. He brought me to the Court at morning. It is not true that I have changed side for money. It is not true that Delawar Hossain Sayedee had direct involvement in my Mother’s killing. It is not true that hiding truth, I have given false statement.

(Completed)-

Witness Stement of Gonesh Chondro Shaha purportedly given before the Investigation Officer.

(The statement alleged to have been recorded by the Investigation Officer – this is never supported by Gonesh) (Despite serious objection of Sayedee, on 29th March 2012 the Tribunal received this alleged statement of Gonesh as evidence under section 19(2) of the 1973 Act)

My name is Gonesh Chondro Shaha; my age is around 45 years. According to your inquiries I am giving you the statement that during the liberation war of Bangladesh I was 3/4 years old. My father had died before the liberation war. During the liberation war my mother worked as a dishwasher of the Pakistani soldiers in a school near Majhighat. My mother used to inform the freedom fighters about the roots by which Pakistani soldiers will go to their operation. According to her information the freedom fighters used to attack and kill them. My mother gave informations to many freedom fighters including freedom fighter Motiur Rahman Shordar who is now Upozilla (Sub district) Chairman. My elder brother Kartik Chondro Shaha asked Uncle Motiur Rahman Shordar one day, “Where you have sent my mother?” Then uncle replied, “We have sent him to collect information, you will get your mother after the liberation of Bangladesh.”

My mother used to give information to the freedom fighters regularly. Many days later the Rajakars informed Pakistani soldiers that Vagirothi is giving information to the freedom fighters about Pakistani soldiers. The freedom fighters were prepared while Pakistani soldiers were going to the Bagmara operation. The freedom fighters attacked the Pakistani army. The battle started and in this battle 50/60 Pakistani soldiers died. After this incident when my mother went to the camp they tied her with a motor cycle and dragged her along the all roads of the city. After that they took her to the wharf of the Boleshshor River and shot her. Then they threw my mother’s dead body into the river.

Bangladesh became free from the occupation army. I grew up in the independent Bangladesh. I have heard many stories in other’s mouth. I didn’t see in my own eyes either the truth or the false. Many people have told me that Delwar Hossain Sayeedi was directly involved in the execution of my mother.

This is my statement.

Signed by

Md.Helaluddin, PPM-Bar

Asst: Police Superintendent,

Investigation officer, Investigation Agency

International Crimes Tribunal, Bangladesh

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