ICT order on review of charges today
The International Crimes Tribunal-1 would today decide on the defence petition seeking review of charges pressed against former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Ghulam Azam.
Hearing arguments of Ghulam Azam's defence for more than two hours, the tribunal headed by Justice Md Nizamul Huq said it would decide on the issue after hearing the prosecution's arguments today.
Tribunal-1 also decided to defer decisions on another defence petition seeking transfer of the case against Ghulam Azam to International Crimes Tribunal-2.
Prosecutor Zead Al Malum submitted his arguments against the transfer petition for about one and a half hours. On Tuesday, the defence submitted its arguments in favour of the petition.
Malum yesterday said according to section-11(A) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973, only the chief prosecutor could appeal for the transfer of a case from one tribunal to another for the sake of speedy completion of a trial.
According to the act, the tribunal reserves the right to transfer a case to expedite trial proceedings, he said.
“But my lord, they [defence] don't have the right. Their petition should not only be rejected but they should also be punished according to International Crimes Act for submitting such unlawful petition,” said Malum.
Nizamul Huq then said the tribunal would decide later on the transfer.
Ghulam Azam's chief defence counsel Abdur Razzaq then gave his arguments on the review of charges pressed against him.
In his submission he made several points. He said the prosecution mentioned the birthplace of Ghulam Azam, which was incorrect, and that Shanti Bahini (Peace Committee) was named as an associated force of the Pakistani military.
He then urged the tribunal to review the charges framed against his client that were not clear and specific.
The tribunal adjourned the trial proceeding until today.
Ghulam Azam was charged with crimes against humanity on five counts based on 60 incidents during the Liberation War of 1971.
Ghulam Azam was brought to the court yesterday morning but around 11:30am his counsel told the tribunal that he was not feeling well and he should be allowed to go back to his prison cell at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital.
The tribunal allowed him to leave.