Alim verdict any day
Bail cancelled, sent to jailTapos Kanti Das
The International Crimes Tribunal-2 after hearing both the sides in Abdul Alim’s war crimes case on Sunday reserved the verdict saying it would hand down the sentence at a later date.
It also cancelled Alim’s bail responding to prosecution plea to reject a defence prayer to continue his bail until the verdict was delivered in the case.
The tribunal directed the jail authorities to provide the medical treatment he needs.
Judgement CAV, said the presiding judge, Justice Obaidul Hassan in a full court hearing attended by two other judges, Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Md Shahinur Islam.
The tribunal announced the decision after hearing summary arguments from the prosecution as well as the defence.
Curia advisari vult, or judgement CAV, is a Latin legal term meaning ‘the court wishes to deliver the verdict at a later date.’
Alim, 83, was in the dock in a wheel chair.
He looked composed as the tribunal cancelled his bail.
His sons present in the court room looked upset.
On March 27, 2011, he was arrested on war crimes charges.
He got conditional bail on March 31, 2011 for his poor health condition.
Indicted on June 11, 2012 under International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973, Alim has been tried on 17 counts of crimes against humanity he allegedly committed in Jaipurhat during the Liberation War.
He has been tried for genocide, murder, abduction, torture in confinement, looting, arson attack and superior responsibility in the perpetration of the crimes.
The prosecution alleged that in 1971, as the Jaipurhat Peace Committee chief, Alim played a key role in forming auxiliary forces to assist the occupation army of Pakistan in different areas in Jaipurhat.
At the trial stage 35 prosecution witnesses testified against Alim.
The defence produced three witnesses to prove his innocence.
The prosecution produced no witness to prove two of the charges.
Alim became the eighth war crimes accused whose trial has been completed under ICT Act, 1973, since Bangladesh clinched its independence in 1971.
Alim was a Convention Muslim League leader in Jaipurhat in 1971. He joined BNP in the late seventies and was elected MP from Jaipurhat Sadar-Panchbibi constituency in 1979, 1996 and 2001 on BNP tickets.
He was a member of Ziaur Rahman’s cabinet in 1978.
Wrapping the arguments, prosecutor Rana Dasgupta, sought Alim’s death sentence claiming that the prosecution proved 15 of the charges against him beyond any shadow of doubt.
The prosecution demands the punishment of Alim for the crimes against humanity he committed 42 years back as a young man and not of an 83-year-old individual, submitted the prosecutor.
On September 19, Alim’s lawyer Ahsanul Huq Hena concluded his closing arguments claiming that his client was ‘innocent.’
He also said that the prosecution failed to prove any of the charges against his client.
He said that his client had to pass his days in hiding from April 20, 1971 to December 16, 1971 in fear of his life and that he was not involved in the crimes against humanity during the Liberation War.
On Sunday, replying to the defence arguments, prosecutor Tureen Afroz sought to nullify the defence claim that Alim had to go into hiding during the war saying it has no credible basis as so many people saw him meeting visitors.
Moreover, Tureen argued the prosecution witnesses proved that the crimes took place in Alim’s presence.
She said that being educated and influential the impact of Alim’s crimes was huge.
Earlier, the two tribunals sentenced six Jamaat leaders for their 1971 war crimes.
Former Jamaat chief Ghulam Azam was sentenced to 90-year jail term.
Death sentences were handed down to five others including Delwar Hossain Sayedee, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, Abdul Quader Molla and Mohammad Kamaruzzaman and absconding former Jamaat member Abul Kalam Azad alias Bachchu Razakar.
The ICT-1 is due to deliver the verdict in the war crimes case of Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, MP, of BNP any day. His trial was completed recently.
The trials of six others on war crimes charges are in progress. The accused include Jamaat leaders Motiur Rahman Nizami, AKM Yusuf, Mir Quasem Ali, expelled Awami League leader Mobarak Hossain and absconding Al-badr bosses Chowdhury Mueenuddin and Md Ashrafuzzaman Khan.
Jamaat leaders Abdus Subhan, ATM Azharul Islam and absconding Nagarkanda BNP leader Zahid Hossain Khokon await indictment on war crimes charges.
The war crimes investigation agency has completed the probe against former Jatiya Party state minister Syed Md Qaisar and found his involvement in crimes against humanity in 1971
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