Defence again fails to produce witnesses
Allowing the defence one more day to produce witnesses, International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday in an order said if Sayedee's defence failed to bring witnesses again, it would not be allowed to produce witnesses any more.
The tribunal issued this order a day after warning the defence of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee over their failure to produce witnesses.
It had told the defence to keep several witnesses on standby.
The defence yesterday produced only one witness whose testimony and cross-examination was over in less than an hour.
Yesterday, after the completion of the cross-examination of the witness, the tribunal asked the defence to produce the next witness.
But defence counsel Mizanul Islam informed the tribunal that their next witness could not come to Dhaka from Pirojpur.
“We have repeatedly told you [defence counsel], we will not allow this practice. We are not happy with the answer,” the chairman of the three-member tribunal, Justice Md Nizamul Huq, said.
Mentioning that the tribunal had the authority to stop both defence and prosecution from producing witnesses, he said it was time for “an appropriate order”.
But for the sake of justice, the tribunal would allow another day to the defence to produce witnesses, he said.
The defence produced their first witness on September 2. Over the last one month they produced seven witnesses.
The tribunal, on September 20, expressed discontent over the prosecution and defence's repeated requests for adjournment of proceedings when they fail to produce witnesses.
The tribunal chairman had then said trial proceedings would not be adjourned if the defence or the prosecution failed to produce witnesses.
The proceedings of Sayedee's case were adjourned until Sunday.
Sayedee is facing several charges of crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War at the tribunal.
MATIA REPLIES CONTEMPT PETITION
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury submitted her reply to a contempt of court petition to the International Crimes Tribunal's registrar office yesterday afternoon, Matia's counsel Rezia Sultana Chaman told The Daily Star.
Earlier on the day, Tribunal-2 Chairman Justice ATM Fazle Kabir fixed October 7 for further orders on the petition when Rezia sought more time for submission of the petition.
War crimes accused Jamaat leader Kamaruzzaman filed the contempt petition against her on August 29.