Jalal's cross examination continues
International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday continued recording the cross-examination of Zahir Uddin Jalal, second prosecution witness in a case against war crimes accused Jamaat Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed.
The three-member tribunal, headed by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir, recorded the cross-examination for the second day before adjourning proceedings until September 30 when Jalal will face further cross-examination.
Defence counsel Syed Mizanur Rahman cross-examined the witness for three hours and asked him around 80 questions, mostly about his description of incidents which occurred on March 25-27, 1971.
Replying to a question, Jalal, who testified on September 20, said he used to live in his house at New Circuit House from March 27 to April 7 during the Liberation War.
“But sometimes I used to go to my paternal uncle's house in Old Dhaka when the curfew was relaxed,” said the witness.
“You used to go there [uncle's house] for hanging out or to stay?” asked Mizanur.
“I used to go there to hide in fear of the collaborators of Pakistan,” said Jalal, adding, “I used to carry two kilograms of rope whenever I went there.”
At that point, the tribunal asked him the reason behind carrying the rope.
“When activists of anti-liberation forces, including Islami Chhatra Sangha [the then student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami], began making a list [of pro-liberation people], we used to carry ropes so that we could escape [by using it] whenever they [anti-liberation forces] would come to pick us up,” replied Jalal.
The tribunal, however, did not record this reply.
Mojaheed is facing seven charges of crimes against humanity, including murder, genocide and hatching conspiracy to kill intellectuals during the War.
Meanwhile, the same tribunal adjourned case proceedings against another Jamaat leader, Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, until October 1 as the prosecution could not produce their witnesses.
The tribunal re-fixed the date after Prosecutor AKM Saiful Islam said they could not produce witnesses owing to their illness.
Justice Fazle Kabir told the prosecution, “Failure to produce witnesses in court is a matter of serious discredit for the prosecution. Don't fail on the next occasion.”
Earlier, the prosecution failed twice to produce their witnesses in the case.
On June 4, the tribunal indicted Kamaruzzaman on seven charges of crimes committed against humanity during the War of Liberation.