Prosecution failed to prove: Defence | The Daily Star
12:24 AM, May 31, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:06 AM, May 31, 2013

.Mojaheed's Al-Badr Link

Prosecution failed to prove: Defence

Defence counsels yesterday argued that the prosecution had failed to prove Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed's involvement with the Al-Badr force during the Liberation War.
Initiating closing arguments on law points, Mojaheed's chief counsel Abdur Razzaq said, “We are admitting that Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed was secretary and president of Islami Chhatra Sangha, but at the same time also denying his involvement with Al-Badr.”
Earlier, the prosecution argued that as the chief of Chhatra Sangha, the then student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Mojaheed became the chief of Al-Badr force, responsible for the planned killing of intellectuals at the fag end of the war.
Tribunal-2 in Jamaat leader Muhammad Kamaruzzaman's verdict observed that Al-Badr was an “action section” and “armed wing” of Jamaat and was formed mainly with the workers of Islami Chhatra Sangha.
During his 55-minute argument, Razzaq placed his submission on the alleged command responsibility of Mojaheed over the infamous Al-Badr forces. Defence has already completed its arguments on factual aspects of the case.
The three-member Tribunal-2, led by Justice Obaidul Hassan with members Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Judge Md Shahinur Islam, heard Razzaq's submission before adjourning the case proceedings until June 2.
In five of the seven charges, Mojaheed has been accused of commanding his subordinates as the Al-Badr chief, but the prosecution has failed to prove his involvement with Al-Badr.
He said the prosecution had submitted only two documents -- a photograph of the daily Azad published on December 11, 1971 and “Al-Badr”, a book written by a Pakistani national Salim Mansur Khalid -- to prove their claim.
The caption of the daily Azad's photograph says, “Al-Badr chief Mojahidee [Mojaheed] addressing a street rally organised by Al-Badr [on Baitul Mukarram mosque premises] yesterday where he uttered caution against people spreading rumours”.
Razzaq said although Mojaheed was mentioned as Al-Badr chief in the photo caption, in the content of the news, Mojaheed was mentioned as Chhatra Sangha president.
“This is just a photograph. It has no probative value as no one was produced [by prosecution] to prove the photo and content,” Razzaq said, adding, “On the basis of a single photograph, it cannot be said that Mojaheed was an Al-Badr commander.”
Earlier, the prosecution had submitted a photograph of the daily Purbadesh published on December 5, 1971, which showed Al-Badr men had been addressing a rally from a vehicle hoisting a banner of Al-Badr.
Freedom fighter Zahir Uddin Jalal, the second prosecution witness, testified that he had hurled a grenade at Mojaheed in that rally held at Chawkbazar on December 4, 1971.
According to the book Al-Badr, the then Nazem (president) of East Pakistan Islami Chhatra Sangha (EPICS) had addressed the Al-Badr men at their headquarters even two hours before the surrender of the Pakistan army on December 16, 1971.
According to prosecution documents, Mojaheed was the president of EPICS from October to December 16, 1971.
Razzaq said the EPICS president had been mentioned as the speaker but Mojaheed's name was not mentioned in the entire book.
Raising questions about the probative value of the book, he said, “We haven't enough information about the writer of the book. It was said that he [writer] was a Jamaat leader but where is the proof?”
In the footnote of the book, Razzaq said, the writer mentioned that Al-Badr soldiers present at the meeting described the speech (to the writer) and the speaker himself had endorsed the address.
“But there is no reference in the footnote. There is no identification of the Al-Badr men (who were present at the meeting). There is no mention of when and where the speaker endorsed his speech,” argued Mojaheed's chief counsel.
“If I had addressed (the meeting), why my [Mojaheed] name was not mentioned (in the book)?” questioned Razzaq, adding, “This [documents] is worse than anonymous hearsay witness.”
“These two documents [daily Azad's photo and Al-Badr book] may be admissible but it has no probative value,” he claimed.
Abdur Razzaq Khan, investigation officer of the case, earlier said that he did not find any list of Razakar, Al-Badr, Al-Shams and Peace Committee that included Mojaheed's name, Razzaq told the tribunal.
At that point, the tribunal said the defence had admitted that Al-Badr and Al-Shams were two wings of the Razakar force, and it had an organogram and list of members.
But Mojaheed was charged as Al-Badr leader and no list of Al-Badr men was published, said the court.
According to the book “Sun Set at Midday” by Mohiuddin Chowdhury, which is a prosecution document, the entire Islami Chhatra Sangha was turned into Al-Badr force, the court said.
“In that case, as the chief of Islami Chhatra Sangha, does the command responsibility fall upon him [Mojaheed]?” asked the court.
Razzaq replied in the negative, saying “The prosecution should have provided hard evidence supporting their claims. Besides, we don't admit that Islami Chhatra Sangha was turned into Al-Badr (in 1971).”
Mojaheed, secretary general of Jamaat, was indicted on seven charges, which include murder, genocide and conspiracy to kill intellectuals during the Liberation War.
Meanwhile, the investigation agency, designated to probe war crimes, yesterday handed over the probe report against BNP leader Zahid Hossain Khokon to the prosecution, MK Rahman, chief coordinator of the lawyer panel, told The Daily Star.
On Wednesday, the agency completed its investigation against Khokon, now mayor of Nagarkanda municipality in Faridpur.
At a press briefing, the probe agency said it had found "sufficient evidence” against Khokon in connection with crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War.

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