The International Crimes Tribunal-1 has once again kept the war crimes case against Jamaat Chief Motiur Rahman Nizami waiting for verdict delivery.
Yesterday, the prosecution and defence completed their closing arguments for the second time.
The tribunal had kept the case waiting for verdict delivery on November 13, 2013, but then tribunal chairman Justice ATM Fazle Kabir went on retirement. The new chairman of the tribunal, appointed on February 23, decided to re-hear the closing arguments.
Nizami is facing 16 charges for his alleged involvement in genocide, mass killings and crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War in 1971.
If found guilty, he may walk the gallows.
The Tribunal-1 chairman Justice M Enayetur Rahim said, “Thank you [prosecution and defence]. The tribunal has been keeping the case on CAV [Curia Advisari Vult, a Latin legal term meaning verdict could be delivered anytime], by tradition. We are keeping it on CAV.”
The chairman also asked the defence and prosecution to submit arguments [if they have any] in writing to the tribunal within Thursday.
Prosecutor Mohammad Ali during the closing argument yesterday said the prosecution had been successful in proving all the charges and sought the death sentence for Nizami.
Regarding command responsibility of Nizami over Al-Badr, prosecutor Syed Haidar Ali cited the precedence of former Jamaat chief Ghulam Azam's war crimes case. He told the tribunal that the same was applicable to Nizami.
Defence counsel Mizanul Islam said Ghulam Azam and Nizami's status were different during the Liberation War and therefore the cases could not be treated as the same. He said the prosecution had failed to bring any specific evidence against Nizami for killing of intellectuals.
The investigators on October 2011 submitted a 411-page probe report on crimes Nizami allegedly committed. On December 11 of the same year, the prosecution pressed charges against the Jamaat chief.
The tribunal on January 9, 2012, accepted formal charges against Nizami.
The prosecution produced their first witness in Nizami's case on August 26, 2012, and examined 26 witnesses including the investigation officer of the case.
The defence completed cross-examining of the IO on October 7, 2013.
So far, the two tribunals delivered judgments in nine war crimes cases and seven, including Nizami's case, are pending.
1. Causing arrest, detention, torture and murder of three victims including the head maulana Kasim Uddin of Pabna Zilla School on June 4, 1971.
2. Conspiring to commit crimes, and cause the killings of 450 people, rape of 30-40 women and deportation of villagers of Baousgari, Ruposhi and Demra in Pabna on May 14, 1971.
3. Complicity in torture, murder and rape at Mohammadpur Physical Training Institute in Dhaka during the war.
4. Complicity in murders, rapes, loot and destruction of properties at Karamja village of Pabna on May 8, 1971.
5. Complicity in the murder of 21 unarmed villagers of Arpara and Vutergari under Ishwardi Police Station on April 16, 1971.
6. Command responsibility for and involved in the murder of 30 people of Dhulaura village on November 27, 1971.
7. Complicity in torture and murder of Sohrab Ali on December 3, 1971.
8. Murder of Bodi, Rumi, Jewel and Azad at the Old MP Hostel on August 30, 1971.
9. Act of genocide that left about 70 Hindus of Brishalikha village killed on December 3, 1971.
10. Involvement in the destruction of Onil Chandra Kundu's house.
11. Delivering an inciting speech on August 3, 1971, during a meeting of Islami Chhatra Sangha at the Muslim Institute Chittagong.
12. Delivering an inciting speech on August 22, 1971, during a meeting organised in remembrance of Al Madani at the Islamic Academy Hall.
13. Delivering an inciting speech on September 8, 1971, marking the defence day on the Arts Building premises organised by Dhaka city unit of Chhatra Sangha.
14. Delivering an inciting speech to Razakars of Jessore On September 10, 1971.
15. Hatching a conspiracy to commit crimes at Sathia Pilot High School with Razakar commander Samad Miah.
16. Act of genocide to eliminate intellectuals and professionals.