International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh Timeline

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The trial of Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal has been held in the old High Court building.

The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) is an ongoing tribunal in Bangladesh that aims to investigate and administer justice regarding the war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and crimes against peace committed by Pakistan army and their local collaborators Razakar, Al-Badr, Al-Shams during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.[1][2][3][4][5][6] In 2008's public election, one of the principal electoral manifesto of the Awami League was to initiate the trial process of war criminals. As promised, a member of parliament from Awami League submitted the proposal of the trial of war criminals on 29 January 2009 in National Parliament and the proposal was accepted unanimously.[7] Finally after 39 years of Liberation of Bangladesh, on 25 March, the tribunal, attorney panel and investigation organization was formed for the trial of the ones accused of war crimes.[8]

The timeline of this tribunal has been enumerated in this article.

2009[edit]

January[edit]

29. Mahmudus Samad Chowdhury, a member of parliament of Awami League from Sylhet-3 constituency raised the proposal of war criminals' trial in the National Parliament. The proposal was supported by the senior parliament members including the Prime Minister and thereafter the speaker asked for verbal votes asking whether to approve the proposal. The proposal was unanimously approved.[9]

March[edit]

25. "The Government of Bangladesh took the decision to investigate and put the accused on trial according to the International Crimes Law 1973."[10]

May[edit]

21. Government sent the Tribunal Act to the Commission of Law asking for expert opinions. Based on the opinions of Expert lawyers, Judges, Professors of various universities and some other experts on Law of the country, later the Commission of Law recommended Government to amend some certain points in the Tribunal created in 1973.[11]

July[edit]

9. Considering the recommendations of the Commission of Law, some amendments were done by verbal votes.[12]

2010[edit]

March[edit]

25. International Crimes Tribunal, Judge's panel and investigation agency is formed.

July[edit]

26. The tribunal starts its official journey by the first hearing. Justice A T M Fazle Kabir and Justice A K M Zahir Ahmed, led by Justice Md. Nizamul Huq, the Chairman of the tribunal directed the hearing of International Crimes Court in the old high court building at Dhaka.[13][14][15] After the hearing, arrest warrants were issued for four leaders of Jamaat-e-IslamiMotiur Rahman Nizami, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, Muhammaad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Mollah for crimes against humanity in 1971.[16][17]
29. The three membered bench led by tribunal chairman Nizamul huw ordered Nizami, Mujahid, Kamaruzzaman and Qader Mollah to appear in front of the Tribunal on 2 August Monday.[18][19][20]

August[edit]

2. Accused Nizami, Mujahid, Kamaruzzaman and Mollah was brought to the tribunal from Dhaka Central Jail. Taking their attendance the court ordered to keep them in jail before further order.[21][22]
4. The public prosecutor requested the court to take actions to arrest the accused Delwar Hossain Sayeedi after the hearing. Court was informed that the accused person was in jail for another crime. Court ordered the jail authority to present the accused on 10 August.[23][24]
10. Sayeedi's prosecutors informed court that he could not appear at the court due to illness. The Tribunal announced amended order to present Sayeedi on 24 August.[25]
16. Abdul Quader Mollah and Muhammaad Kamaruzzaman, two imprisoned leaders of Jamaat filed a writ as complainant application at High Court challenging the legitimacy of the first amendment of constitution consisting of the war criminals' trial. In the writ, they claimed seven sections and sub-sections of International Crimes Tribunal Act enacted in 1973 to be against constitution and challenged the legitimacy of the arrest warrant for four Jammat leaders. Secretary of Law, Secretary of Home Ministry and Chairman of International Crimes Tribunal have been placed as defendants in the application. 17 August 2010 was fixed as the hearing date at the High Court Division Bench consisting of Justice Mohammad Abdul Wahab Miya and Justice Kazi Rezaul Huq.[26]
17. The hearing of the writ on the first amendment of constitution and legitimacy of few sections of International Crimes Tribunal of 1973 starts at High Court bench.[27][28]
22. Justice Abdul Wahab Miya stated his opinion after the hearing. He said that he had investigated all sections and sub-sections of International Tribunal Act and the only problem he found with the act was "The suspecced persons cannot go to apeal department, but they might go if they were convicted." He requested Attorney General Mahbub Alam to take actions on this matter on 23 August.
23. Before any kind of hearing from the Government as the court's session begins in the morning, the prosecutor of defendants Barrister Abdur Razzak withdraws the writ request of 16 August. On that note, High Court dismisses the writ request for the first amendment of constitution and cancellation of few sections of International Crimes Tribunal, stating that the request has not been pressed. Point to be noted, the writ request was not rejected, but was withdrawn since it was not pressed. Therefore, requesting for the same writ in other courts remains possible. The request done by Abdul Wahab Mia on the previous day was not raised on the hearing.[29][30]

In the morning, the investigation team of Tribunal starts the investigation on the charges against Ghulam Azam, former Amir of Jamaat for crimes against humanity in Bharmanbaria. They have done investigating the charges of killing the sub-inspector Shiru Mia and his son at Brahmanbaria in 1971. On the first day of investigation, the investigation team visited old and new jail of Brahmanbaria, the mass graveyard near Kurulia Bridge, Bodhdhobhumi of Portola. Later that afternoon, they collected evidences from some witnesses.[31][32]

24. The Tribunal fises 21 September as the new date to present Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, Nayeb-e Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami for the case of crimes against humanity in 1971. According to court's decision, the hearing of the writ applications of Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami Motiur Rahman Nizami, Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, Deputy Secretary General Muhammaad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Mollah was decided to take place on the same day.[33]

September[edit]

21. Sayeedi was brought to the tribunal from Dhaka Central Jail for the hearing। The hearing was led by Justice Md. Nizamul Huq, ATM Fazle Kabir and AKM Zahir Ahmed. Since the request to issue arrest warrant for Sayeedi was not properly presented on behalf of state, Sayeedi was sent back to jail instead of issuing arrest warrant. The tribunal fixed the next date for hearing as 22 September according to that request.[34][35] On the same day, court rejected four petitions filed by lawyers of already arrested Jamaat leaders Mujahid, Kamaruzzaman, Qader Mollah along with Nizam, the Amir of Jamaat. The petitions were- withdrawing the arrest warrants issued for the imprisoned ones, their release, withholding the activities of tribunal and withholding next activities until the certified copies of the cases were provided. Two more petitions were withdrawn by the lawyers of Jamaat leaders.[36] এই দিন আদালতে কঠোর নিরাপত্তার ব্যবস্থা করা হয়।[34]
22. On the afternoon of 21 September, jail authority informed the court that Sayeedi could not be presented at Tribunal due to his sudden illness.[34][37]

In spite of Sayeedi's absence, the three member tribunal led by Justice Nizamul Huq announced 12 October as the next date of hearing. The jail authority informed that Sayeedi could not be presented at court on 22 September due to falling ill on the 21st. Public prosecutor Syed Hyder Ali submitted a supplementary report for issuing arrest warrant for Sayeedi at the beginning of court session.[38]

October[edit]

12. Sayeedi was not presented at Tribunal on the previously fixed date of 12 October due to his illness. During the hearing, the tribunal fixed the next date of hearing to be on 2 November in Sayeedi's absence. This was the third time to delay Sayeedi's appearance at court due to illness. Sayeedi was ordered to appear on 2 November in ambulance if needed.[39][40]

November[edit]

2. The three member tribunal led by Justice Nizamul Huq ordered to keep Sayeedi in confinement till 29 December. Besides, the tribunal ordered the investigation agency to prepare a charge-sheet or submit the investigation report gainst Sayeedi. Syed Haider Ali, the public prosecutor requested the court to keep the arrest warrant in force stating that primary evidences of Sayeedi's involvement in crimes against humanity had been found, therefore he needed to be kept under arrest for the sake of investigation. Tajul Islam, Sayeedi's lawyer opposed the request. The court issued the above order at the end of hearing.[41]

December[edit]

19. The hearing of tribunal took place regarding the request to arrest Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury for war crimes. Tribunal lawyers had placed the request on 15 December. At the end of hearing, three lawyers of the tribunal led by Nizamul Huq issued the order to present Chowdhury at tribunal on 30 December showing him arrested as accused for war crimes.[42]

2011[edit]

January[edit]

17. The court ordered to keep Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury detained until 19 April, charged for crimes against humanity. Three of the four requests placed in favor of Chowdhuty was rejected and one was executed. Tribunal ordered the investigation team to provide a thorough report about Choudhury's involvement in crimes against humanity as soon as possible.[43][44]

February[edit]

20. The investigation report on charges of Sayeedi's crimes against humanity was submitted by war crimes investigating agency as per tribunal's order. At the end of the hearing, the tribunal issued an order to keep Sayeedi in confinement till 15 March and to present him at court on the same date. Besides, tribunal ordered the investigation agency to present 'Case Diary' against Sayeedi on 15 March.[45]

March[edit]

15. Sayeedi's bail was rejected. Apart from Sayeedi, four jamaat-e-Islami leaders Nizami, Mujahid, Kamaruzzaman and Qader Mollah arrested for the same changes as Sayeedi's were ordered to appear at the tribunal on 20 April.[46][47]

October[edit]

3. Tribunal framed 20 charges against Delwar Hossain Sayeedi for crimes against humanity and genocide in 1971.[48]

2012[edit]

March[edit]

22. Government formed a new International Crimes Tribunal (Tribunal-2 or ICT-2) to speed up the trial procedure.[49]
25. Tribunal-2 started working being led by the former Justice of Tribunal-1, A T M Fazle Kabir.[49]

April[edit]

3. Tribunal-2 ordered to arrest and present Abul Kalam Azad, the former Rukn of Jamaat to court within 24 hours. But he fled from home that morning and the Detective Policeforce could not find him.[50]
4. Tribunal-1 framed 23 charges of crimes against humanity against Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury[51][52][53]
5. Amending some rules of Tribunal-1, Tribunal-2 created their own activity rules. According to new rules, any orders by Tribunal cannot be reviewed more than once.[49][54]
8. Helaluddin, an officer at charge investigation agency, gave evidence against Sayeedi at court. Point to be noted, evidences have been collected from 27 people in this case so far.[55]

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Consulate (Dacca) Cable, Sitrep: Army Terror Campaign Continues in Dacca; Evidence Military Faces Some Difficulties Elsewhere, 31 March 1971, Confidential, 3 pp
  2. ^ Telegram 978 From the Consulate General in Dacca to the Department of State, 29 March 1971, 1130Z
  3. ^ Rummel, Rudolph. "Chapter 8: Statistics Of Pakistan's Democide Estimates, Calculations, And Sources". Statistics of Democide: Genocide and Mass Murder since 1900. p. 544. ISBN 978-3-8258-4010-5. "...They also planned to indiscriminately murder hundreds of thousands of its Hindus and drive the rest into India. ... This despicable and cutthroat plan was outright genocide.
  4. ^ A. R. Siddiqui, East Pakistan - the Endgame: An Onlooker's Journal 1969-1971, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 171.
  5. ^ R. Sisson and L. E. Rose. Pakistan, India, and the Creation of Bangladesh, University of California Press, 1990, p. 165.
  6. ^ Anbarasan Ethirajan (20 November 2011). "Bangladesh finally confronts war crimes 40 years on". BBC News.
  7. ^ যুদ্ধাপরাধীদের বিচারের প্রস্তাব সংসদে পাস. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 30 January 2009 – via International Crimes Strategy Forum.
  8. ^ "Justice and Parliamentary Affairs issued S.R.O No. 87-AvBb/2010-wePvi-4/5wm-2/2010/506". Bangladesh Government Press. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  9. ^ "JS passes proposal to try war criminals". The Daily Star. 30 January 2009.
  10. ^ "War criminal trial under int'l crime act". The Daily Star. 26 March 2009.
  11. ^ "Opinion of the Law Commission on the technical aspects of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973 (Act No. XIX of 1973)" (PDF). Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  12. ^ যুদ্ধাপরাধ বিচারে সংসদে বিল পাস মানবাধিকার কমিশন বিলও পাস. Daily Prothom Alo (in Bengali). Dhaka. 10 July 2009.
  13. ^ নিজামী মুজাহিদ কামারুজ্জামান কাদের মোল্লার বিরুদ্ধে ওয়ারেন্ট. Daily Ittefaq (in Bengali). Dhaka. 27 July 2010.
  14. ^ "Int'l crimes tribunal starts proceedings today". The Daily Star. 26 July 2010.
  15. ^ "Bangladesh's war crimes tribunal issues first warrants". The Statesman. Kolkata. Press Trust of India. 26 July 2010. Arrest warrants against four persons have been issued, chief of the three-member tribunal Justice Nizamul Haque said at the first hearing of tribunal since its Constitution in March this year ... The four ~ JI chief Motiur Rahman Nizami, its secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and senior assistant secretaries general Muhammad Qamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Mollah are already in jail over other charges, including sedition and murder.
  16. ^ নিজামী, মুজাহিদ, কামারুজ্জামান ও মোল্লার বিরুদ্ধে গ্রেপ্তারি পরোয়ানা. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 26 July 2010.
  17. ^ "Warrants issued for Bangladeshi Islamic party leaders on charges of crimes against humanity". Fox News. 26 July 2010.
  18. ^ "Four Jamaat leaders asked to appear". The Daily Star. 30 July 2010.
  19. ^ জামায়াতের চার শীর্ষ নেতাকে অপরাধ ট্রাইব্যুনালে হাজির করা হচ্ছে সোমবার. Daily Ittefaq (in Bengali). 30 July 2010.
  20. ^ Ishaan Tharoor (3 August 2010). "Bangladesh: Bringing a Forgotten Genocide to Justice". Time.
  21. ^ "4 Jamaat leaders in war trial dock". The Daily Star. 3 August 2010.
  22. ^ "Bangladesh Jamaat leaders to be kept in jail indefinitely". Arab News. 2 August 2010.
  23. ^ সাঈদীকে ১০ আগস্ট ট্রাইব্যুনালে হাজির করার নির্দেশ. Daily Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 5 August 2010.
  24. ^ Manik, Julfikar Ali (5 August 2010). "Tribunal hears war crimes of Sayedee". The Daily Star.
  25. ^ সাঈদীকে ২৪ আগস্ট ট্রাইব্যুনালে হাজির করার নির্দেশ. Daily Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 11 August 2010.
  26. ^ "Provisions of law challenged". The Daily Star. 17 August 2010.
  27. ^ জামায়াতের দুই নেতার রিটের শুনানি শুরু [The Writ Hearing of two Jamaat leaders starts]. Daily Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 18 August 2010. Archived from the original on 22 August 2010.
  28. ^ "Next hearing on August 22". The Daily Star. 18 August 2010.
  29. ^ যুদ্ধাপরাধ আইন বাতিলের আবেদন খারিজ. bdnews24.com (in Bengali). 23 August 2010.
  30. ^ "Jamaat men backtrack on war trial act". The Daily Star. 24 August 2010.
  31. ^ গোলাম আযমের বিরুদ্ধে অভিযোগের তদন্ত শুরু. bdnews24.com (in Bengali). 23 August 2010.
  32. ^ "War crime probe against Ghulam Azam begins". The Daily Star. 24 August 2010.
  33. ^ ২১শে সেপ্টেম্বর সাঈদীকে আন্তর্জাতিক অপরাধ ট্রাইব্যুনালে হাজির করার নির্দেশ. Daily Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 24 August 2010.
  34. ^ a b c সাঈদীকে গ্রেপ্তারে পরোয়ানা হয়নি, কাল আবার শুনানি. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 21 September 2010.
  35. ^ যুদ্ধাপরাধ বিচারের কাঠগড়ায় সাঈদী. bdnews24.com (in Bengali). 21 September 2010.
  36. ^ "6 pleas of Jamaat leaders rejected". The Daily Star. 21 September 2010.
  37. ^ সাঈদীকে বুধবার ট্রাইব্যুনালে হাজির করা হচ্ছে না,. bdnews24.com (in Bengali). 21 September 2010.
  38. ^ সাঈদীকে গ্রেপ্তার দেখানোর বিষয়ে ১২ অক্টোবর শুনানি. Daily Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 22 September 2010.
  39. ^ সাঈদীকে অ্যাম্বুলেন্সে করে হাজির করার নির্দেশ. bdnews24.com (in Bengali). 12 October 2010.
  40. ^ প্রয়োজনে লাইফ সাপোর্ট দিয়ে ২ নভেম্বর সাঈদীকে হাজির করার নির্দেশ. Daily Samakal (in Bengali). 12 October 2010.
  41. ^ সাঈদীকে ২৯ ডিসেম্বর পর্যন্ত আটক রাখার নির্দেশ. Daily Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 3 November 2010.
  42. ^ "Bangladesh grinds axe on war criminals, SQ Chowdhury arrested". The Times of India. 16 December 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
  43. ^ "Keep SQ Chy detained until 19 Apr: ICT". The Daily Sun. 18 January 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  44. ^ সাকা চৌধুরীকে ১৯শে এপ্রিল পর্যন্ত আটক রাখার নির্দেশ [Chowdhury ordered detention until 19 April]. Mzamin (in Bengali). 18 January 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  45. ^ "Sayedee to be produced in tribunal on Mar 15". The Daily Star. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  46. ^ "Sayedee to remain in jail". bdnews24. 15 March 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
  47. ^ সাঈদীর জামিন নামঞ্জুর, পরবর্তী শুনানি ২০ এপ্রিল. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 15 March 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  48. ^ "Deposition against Sayedee underway", BanglaNews24, 8 April 2012
  49. ^ a b c ট্রাইব্যুনাল-২-এর কার্যপ্রণালি বিধিমালা: আদেশ পুনর্বিবেচনার আবেদন করা যাবে একবার. Daily Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 6 April 2012.
  50. ^ পরোয়ানা নিয়ে আযাদকে খুঁজে পায়নি পুলিশ. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 4 April 2012.
  51. ^ Mizan Rahman, "Opposition lawmaker indicted for war crimes", Gulf Times, 5 April 2012
  52. ^ অপরাধ ২৩-হত্যা ধর্ষণ অপহরণ নির্যাতন ধর্মান্তর ॥ অভিযুক্ত সাকা. Daily Janakantha (in Bengali). 5 April 2012.
  53. ^ "The 23 Charges". International Crimes Strategy Forum. 5 April 2012.
  54. ^ "ICT-2 promulgates its own RP". New Age. 6 April 2012.
  55. ^ সাঈদীর বিরুদ্ধে তদন্ত কর্মকর্তার সাক্ষ্যগ্রহণ. BanglaNews24 (in Bengali). 8 April 2012.

External links[edit]