Saturday, June 22, 2024

Verdict on Nizami any day

The International Crimes Tribunal-1 on Wednesday announced that the verdict in the war crimes case against Jamaat chief Motiur Rahman Nizami would be delivered later.
The three-judge ICT gave the decision after the senior defence lawyers failed to turn up for the fourth consecutive day to submit their closing arguments.Nizami, 70, was in the dock.
The judges closed the closing arguments of the defence but allowed them to submit the remainder of their closing arguments in writing ‘within five days for ends of justice.’
Junior defence lawyer Md Asad Uddin filed a petition seeking adjournment for a day on the ground that due to ‘personal difficulties’ his seniors could not turn up.
The senior defence lawyers made it a practice not to appear during hartals.
‘The summing up’ of the defence case ‘is hereby concluded and the
application for adjournment is also rejected,’ ordered the presiding judge, Justice ATM Fazle Kabir in the full court hearing attended by Justice Jahangir Hossain and Justice Anwarul Haque.
‘Let the judgement be kept CAV,’ announced the presiding judge.
Judgement CAV, or curia advisari vult is Latin legal term for reserving the verdict for a later date.
Four and a half hours later, defence lawyer Tarikul Islam Tarique appeared and tried in vain to submit a petition seeking the recall of the tribunal’s order which declared the closing arguments of the defence closed.
A defence statement, later said that the closure of their arguments at the incomplete stage, was denial of justice to the accused.
Since Sunday, no senior defence lawyer turned up to make their closing arguments.
The tribunal allowed several adjournments sought by the defence.
And the presiding judge made it clear that as the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973 stipulated expeditious trials without any unreasonable delays there was no scope for unlimited delays.
Born in 1943 in village Mohammadpur under Santhia in Pabna, Nizami was the president of Jamaat’s student wing Islami Chattra Sangha and the chief of Al-Badr, an auxiliary force of Pakistani occupation army, according to the prosecution.
On June 29, 2010, Nizami was arrested near the National Press Club.
On July 22, 2010 he was shown arrested on war crimes charges.
On May 28, 2012, Nizami was indicted on 16 crimes against humanity charges for his superior responsibility in the war crimes, intellectuals’ elimination, complicity in genocide, multiple murders, rapes, torture of unarmed people, hatching conspiracies, planning and inciting war crimes.
This will be the 10th war crimes case verdict since Bangladesh won independence in 1971.
For the ICT-1, established on March 25, 2010, it would be the fourth verdict.
‘We proved 15 out of 16 charges against Nizami beyond an iota of doubt and expect highest punishment for him,’ prosecutor Mohammad Ali told reporters at a news briefing.
He said that no prosecution witness was produced for one charge against Nizami.
Junior defence counsel Tarikul Islam Tarique, on the other hand, said the defence was shocked at the closure of their arguments to prove the client’s innocence.
He said that the defence would seek a review of the tribunal’s order in this regard.
At the trial stage 26 prosecution witnesses testified against Nizami.
Four defence witnesses testified to prove his innocence.
The two ICTs, better known as war crimes tribunals, were set up to bring the 1971 war crimes suspects to justice.
So far, the ICT-2 delivered verdicts in six war crimes cases.
Until now, 10 accused, six of them Jamaat leaders, received various sentences for war crime.
Two more await indictment while the trials of five other war crimes accused are in progress.

-With New Age input

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