War criminal Salauddin Quader Chowdhury's wife Farhat Quader Chowdhury yesterday shows journalists a printed copy of the partially leaked verdict that had been available online since the day before. The photo was taken at the tribunal premises after the verdict delivery. Photo: Star
Terming the verdict against Salauddin Quader Chowdhury “dictated judgment”, the family and defence of the war crimes convict yesterday said they would appeal against it whereas the prosecution expressed satisfaction over the verdict.
Family and defence of Salauddin, also a BNP standing committee member, claimed that the copy of the verdict was "prepared by the law ministry, and was available on internet”.
"I have downloaded a copy of the verdict from a website and brought it here with me,” the convict's wife, Farhat Quader Chowdhury, told journalists shortly after the judgment was delivered.
Claiming that her husband was a victim of “political vendetta”, Farhat said the verdict the judges read out and the one she had downloaded were the same.
"According to the website, the copy of the verdict was found in a computer of the law ministry," she said, posing a question how the judges could read out a document prepared by the law ministry.
"The judges could have investigated the matter. But they continued reading out the verdict instead," she claimed. “Though we knew that we would not get justice, we wanted to show the people of the country and the world that what was going on here. That's why, we followed the whole trial process, and we'll follow it till the end.”
Salauddin's elder son Fazlul Quader Chowdhury also said they had found the copy of the judgment on internet since 10:00pm on Monday.
He claimed that his father was studying at Panjab University in Pakistan during the Liberation War in 1971. He urged the reporters to ask Justice Shamim Hasnain, who studied with his father during that period, to get the real information about his father.
Defence lawyer Fakhrul Islam told the journalists: "It is a dictated judgment."
He said the judges should resign from their posts as the verdict was leaked.
Fakhrul added that they would go to the appellate division and urge for retrial.
On the other side, the prosecution expressed satisfaction over the verdict, and said the verdict had established the rule of law in the country.
"All people of Chittagong know what happened there in 1971. The verdict will give a quantum of solace to the people of Chittagong and the country as well," prosecutor Rana Dasgupta told the reporters.
This was the result of a good teamwork, he added.
Turin Afroz, another prosecutor, said: "The case of Salauddin was difficult and challenging for the prosecution as we could not place many witnesses before the court because there is no law for the protection of the witnesses."
The verdict proves that he committed genocide in Raozan and Chittagong, and also attacked the Hindu minority there, Turin added.
When asked about the claim of the defence that the verdict was available on the internet, she said it was not possible to say anything before getting the tribunal's copy of the verdict.