Government Policy

ICT verdict in Kishoreganj Razakar duo’s case any day

DHAKA, March 7, 2017 (BSS) - The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)-1 will deliver any day the verdict in crimes against humanity case against two alleged Razakars from Nikli, Kishoreganj, as it wrapped up the hearing of the case today.

"We are keeping the case on CAV (curia advisory vault, a Latin legal term meaning court awaits verdict)," said Justice Anwarul Haque, chairman of the three-member ICT-1.

Earlier in the day, advocate Abdus Sattar Palwan argued for the acquittal of the two accused Syed Mohammad Hossain, 65, and Moslem Prodhan, 68. Of the two, Prodhan is in custody and was present during the hearing today.

"Prodhan is actually an innocent and poor farmer, who has nothing to do with those monstrous crimes, whereas Hossain was then sub-inspector of Nikli Police Station, who was in-charge of that station in 1971," Palwan said in his argument.

The defence counsel's argument was predominantly focused on the defence of Prodhan, referring different documents and testimonies of prosecution and defence witnesses for his case.

Senior prosecutor Tureen Afroz, who concluded her part of arguments yesterday, however, said no special qualification was needed for becoming a Razakar.

"Anyone, regardless of his social and financial status, holding a gun could act as a Razakar. So defence's argument in support of Pradhan cannot stand here," Tureen said.

She also rebutted the defence argument on the timing of a particular fight, saying, it is just an argument for the sake of it, adding, "He (Palwan) is not denying the atrocities, the ferocity of the accused."

Tureen summed up her rebuttal by pleading capital punishment for the two accused, saying the defence has not been able to cast any doubt on prosecution case thus the case of the prosecution stands firmly.

Meanwhile, the senior prosecutor in her reaction to the newsmen after the day's hearing, said, the prosecution for the first time has pleaded before the court to consider rape and forced conversion during the war as genocide, saying "we have submitted references of different international courts in support of our argument. It can open a new chapter or door which can become an example."

According to the prosecution, Prodhan was the Razakar commander of then Nikli union, while Hossain was the commander of Nikli thana.

The prosecution on December 3, 2015, submitted formal charge in the case, pressing six charges of the crimes against humanity against the accused. The ICT-1 on January 7, 2016, took the charges into cognizance and indicted the duo on May 9, 2016.

The prosecution on June 5, 2016, submitted the opening statement, initiating the hearing of the case formally.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)