A prosecution witness yesterday gave a description of how fugitive war crimes accused MA Zahid Hossain Khokon along with Razakars and Pakistani army had shot dead his mother, brother and sister during the Liberation War.
The 16th prosecution witness, Kalom Sheikh, 65, told the International Crimes Tribunal-1 that Khokon along with other Razakars and Pakistani army had gone to their Ishwardi village in Faridpur on May 30, 1971.
Kalom said he had hidden in a bush north of their house. “My mother Boru Khatun, brother Salam Sheikh and sisters Srimoti and Fulmoti ran to a
jute field to save their lives,” said the witness.
Kalom broke down in tears saying Khokon, Razakars and Pakistani army had gone to the jute field and opened fire on them.
After they had left, Kalom recovered their bodies from the field. His another sister Fulmoti was shot in the back but survived after treatment.
During cross-examination, defence counsel Abuds Shukur Khan made a suggestion that Khokon had not shot his family members.
Getting excited at hearing the sentence, the witness shouted, “I saw Khokon shoot my mother.”
The proceeding of the case has been adjourned until December 23.
The tribunal-1 yesterday deferred hearing of a contempt of court proceeding issued upon war crimes convict Salauddin Quader Chowdhury’s counsel Fakhrul Islam to January 12, 2014.
The notice, issued following a petition Fakhrul submitted on December 30, 2012, asked why contempt of court proceedings would not be initiated against him for maligning the tribunal’s reputation.
In the petition, Fakhrul asked whether ICT-1 had known about the alleged Skype conversation between former ICT-1 chairman Justice Nizamul Huq and an expatriate legal expert, Ahmed Ziauddin.
Fakhrul was arrested on November 20 and is now in police custody for his alleged involvement in leaking the draft verdict in war crimes case against the BNP lawmaker.
The defence counsel had earlier offered ‘unconditional apology’.
Prosecutor Zead Al Malum told the tribunal there was no need of hearing as Fakhrul had offered ‘unconditional apology’ and there were many instances to that end.
The tribunal led by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir asked Malum to submit at least two instances of contempt of court proceedings where the Appellate Division had taken action even after ‘unconditional apology’ was offered.
The International Crimes Tribunal-2 has meanwhile closed cross-examination of Sikdar Habibur Rahman, 18th prosecution witness in the case against Jamaat-e-Islami leader AKM Yusuf, as one of his junior counsels expressed inability to cross-examine him in the absence of senior colleagues.
The tribunal on Wednesday cancelled the vokalatnama [power of attorney] of Yusuf’s conducting counsel Syed Mizanur Rahman, as he had been absenting from the proceedings since November 25.
It also asked his other counsels to inform the tribunal about the appointment of new counsel within yesterday. Yusuf’s junior counsel Gazi MH Tamim yesterday said they could not appoint a new lawyer.
The three-member tribunal led by Justice Obaidul Hassan had earlier closed the cross-examination of five prosecution witnesses as Mizanur Raman didn’t show up and Tamim expressed his inability to cross-examine the witnesses.
The court, however, fixed Sunday for passing orders regarding defence petitions for recalling the cross-examination of 12th, 13th and 14th prosecution witnesses reviewing court’s earlier orders.
Yusuf, who is historically known as the founder of the infamous Razakar force, is facing 13 charges for his alleged involvement in crimes against humanity and genocide committed in greater Khulna during the war.