SQ Chowdhury's two petitions rejected
The International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday rejected BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury's review petition seeking discharge from the charges he is facing for his alleged involvement in crimes against humanity during the Liberation War of 1971.
The three-judge tribunal headed by Justice Md Nizamul Huq also turned down his another petition, in which he sought some changes to his indictment order.
The trial against the BNP leader will formally start on April 29.
The Chittagong lawmaker was produced before the court yesterday.
He is facing 23 specific war crimes charges, which include murdering civilians, collaborating with the Pakistani occupation army to kill and torture unarmed people, looting of valuables and torching of houses and other properties, persecuting people on religious and political grounds, and committing atrocities on Hindu community members.
Fakhrul Islam, a defence counsel of Salauddin Quader, prayed for permission so that his client could visit a physician at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) on the way to Kashimpur Jail, as he (Salauddin) was "having teeth problems".
Prosecutor Zead Al Malum opposed the prayer on security concerns.
After discussing the matter with the defence and prosecution, the court rejected the plea but directed the jail superintendent to take immediate steps so that the BNP leader could visit BSMMU by today.
CROSS-EXAMINATION OF WITNESS AGAINST SAYEDEE
The defence of Delawar Hossain Sayedee yesterday began cross-examining the 28th and last prosecution witness against the Jamaat-e-Islami leader.
Mohammad Helal Uddin, also the investigation officer of the case against Sayedee, faced some primary questions, including that of the dates and places of filing the case.
Defence counsel will continue cross-examining him today.
Earlier yesterday, Sayedee's defence counsels prayed for a one-month adjournment for preparing the cross-examination of the investigation officer, who had finished his nine-day deposition on Tuesday.
Mizanul Islam, a counsel for Sayedee, argued that they had received a huge number of documents during the deposition by the investigation officer, and they were yet to receive 13 new documents from the prosecution.
“For the sake of fair trial, we need the time for preparation”, he said.
The tribunal said it realised that the defence needed time for preparation, but rejected the prayer saying that it did not want to waste time.
The tribunal chairman, however, assured the defence counsels that the proceedings would be adjourned if they faced difficulties during the cross-examination.
The defence counsels also prayed for privileged communication with Sayedee.
The tribunal observed that the defence counsels received adequate opportunity for privileged communication with their client, and went on to pass an order fixing 10:00am to 1:00pm on May 1 for the privileged communication at Kashimpur Jail in Gazipur.
The Nayeb-e-Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami was produced before the court yesterday. He is facing 20 charges of crimes against humanity committed in the Liberation War of 1971.
TRANSFER OF MOJAHEED'S CASE TO ICT-2
After the three-member tribunal-1 began yesterday's proceedings, Chief Prosecutor Ghulam Arieff Tipoo appealed for transfer of the case against Jamaat secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed to the newly formed second tribunal.
The court accepted the petition and allowed the case to be transferred, Mukhlesur Rahman Badal, the conducting prosecutor of the case, told the Daily Star.
The tribunal also fixed April 29 for hearing the defence's arguments on the charges brought against Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami.