Deposition against Kamaruzzaman deferred to July 15
The International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday deferred the date to July 15 for recording statements of the prosecution witnesses against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, an accused of war crimes.
Setting the fresh date following a time petition of Kamaruzzaman's counsels, the three-member tribunal headed by its Chairman Justice ATM Fazle Kabir also directed the defence to submit its list of witnesses and documents within that day.
On June 4, the tribunal framed seven charges against Kamaruzzaman for his alleged involvement in murder and torture of unarmed civilians and other crimes against humanity during the Liberation War of 1971.
Yesterday was fixed for examination of the prosecution witnesses and submission of defence documents along with defence's witness list.
But Tajul Islam, one a defence counsel, told the tribunal that they were yet to consult with their client about the witness list and documents. So they could not finalise the documents and sought four weeks for preparation.
Two counsels of Kamaruzzaman have been allowed to meet their client in jail custody on July 7 for preparing their defence.
At the beginning of yesterday's proceedings, Chief Prosecutor Ghulam Arieff Tipoo started reading out the 81-page opening statement. Later three other prosecutors finished reading it.
In the statement, Prosecutor Saiful Islam said Kamaruzzaman was the chief organiser of Al Badr, an auxiliary force of the Pakistani occupation army, in greater Mymensingh and committed crimes against humanity including murder, torture, and rape during the war.
The accused should be tried not for “any political or personal vengeances” but “for establishing democracy, rule of law and human rights in the country,” he said.
The chief prosecutor said Kamaruzzaman committed crimes both in partnership with the Pakistani forces and on his own initiatives. The prosecution is confident enough to prove the allegations against him “beyond any reasonable doubt," he said.
Kamaruzzaman was produced in court yesterday.