Verdict on 4 Noakhali ‘Razakars’ tomorrow

Crimes during Liberation War in 1971
International Crimes Tribunal. Star file photo

The International Crimes Tribunal-1 will deliver the verdict tomorrow in a case filed against four men from Noakhali for their alleged involvement in crimes committed during the 1971 Liberation War.

The three-member tribunal led by Justice Md Shahinur Islam fixed the date today as it kept the verdict waiting for delivery after the prosecution and the defence counsels completed placing their closing arguments on February 6.

The accused -- Amir Ali, 70; Md Joynal Abedin, 73; Abul Kalam alias AKM Mansur, 67; and Md Abdul Kuddus, 84 -- hail from Sudharam upazila in the district. Of them, Abul Kalam is on the run while the rest are in jail.

Last month, Prosecutor Zahid Imam sought capital punishment for all four accused saying that the prosecution has been able to prove all three charges brought against the four.

On the other hand, defence counsels Tariqul Islam, Gazi MH Tamim and Masud Rana sought acquittal of their clients saying that prosecution utterly failed to prove the charges.

On June 20, 2016, the tribunal framed three charges against the four who were allegedly involved with Razakar Bahini, an auxiliary force of Pakistani occupation army, and the killing of at least 111 people in three incidents.

The prosecution on October 5, 2015, pressed charges against five men from Noakhali, including the four. But Mohammad Yusuf later died of old age complications and was not indicted, said prosecutor Zahid Imam.

According to the first charge, the four were involved in the killing of at least 100 people of Sreepur and Sonapur villages on June 15.

Amir, Abul and Joynal were involved in the abduction and killing of two people of Pashim Karimpur and Debipur villages on September 13, as per the second charge.

The third says Amir and Abul Kalam were involved in the abduction, torture and killing of at least nine people of Ramharitaluk, Debipur and Uttar Chakla villages on the same day.

The prosecution produced 15 witnesses including the investigation officer of the case and some documents to prove the charges. However, defence counsels declined to produce any witness in the case.