WAR CRIMES TRIAL
IO has no credibility, says SQC’s defenceStaff Correspondent
The defence lawyer of the detained BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury on Monday claimed before the International Crimes Tribunal-1 that the Investigation officer who probed the allegations against his client had no credibility.
While delivering his closing arguments for the third day, the lawyer, Ahsanul Huq Hena, sought to discredit the investigation officer Md Nurul Islam who probed the war crimes allegation against Salauddin, saying the IO in his cross-examination said he could not tell the name of the Inspector General of police during the liberation war.
The IO who was the 41st and the last prosecution witness against his client had said that he had not probed who was the Chittagong range DIG and the Chittagong Superintendent of police in 1971, Hena said, adding that the IO also had not investigated whether there was special branch in Chittagong or not during the liberation war.
‘Strange! He [IO] is a police officer. He cannot say the names of the 1971 top police officials. The special branch of police looks after the political activities and he did not investigate whether there was SB in Chittagong then,’ Hena argued and questioned the IO’s credibility.
He said that the IO had said he could not remember whether he investigated the names of the then officers-in-charge of Hathazari, Kotwali and Panchlaish police stations in Chittagong.
‘Is it possible? He completed his investigation not far away, and he is a professional police officer,’ the defence lawyer said, adding that the IO even did not review the war time general diaries and the unnatural death cases with the police stations in Chittagong.
There were murder cases against the Biharies and the army officials in 1971 and the accused persons were arrested then, he argued and said that IO even did not interrogate any of the then officers of any of the police stations to know about the crimes committed in Chittagong during the liberation war.
The IO also could not remember the time of founding the Chittagong Metropolitan Police, he said.
‘He [IO] has no credibility. He has been lying willfully,’ Hena said.
The IO is simultaneously the informant and the investigating officer of the case, he said and added, ‘If I am a player and at the same time I am umpire, the result would ultimately go in favour of me. The same thing happened in the present case in hand.’
The defence lawyer also argued on different inconsistencies in the statements of four witnesses to the IO that were accepted by the tribunal in evidence. The statements were made by Jyotsna Bala Chowdhury, Badal Biswas, Janoki Bala and Badsha Mia.
Salauddin, facing 23 charges of crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War in Chittagong, was in the dock.
His arguments remained incomplete when the tribunal adjourned the proceedings until August 7.
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