ICT to decide on May 28Staff Correspondent
The International Crimes Tribunal-1on Thursday set May 28 for delivering its order whether or not detained Jamaat amir Matiur Rahman Nizami would be indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity committed during 1971 war of independence.
The tribunal of Justice Nizamul Huq, Justice Anwarul Haque and Judge AKM Zahir Ahmed fixed the date after chief defence counsel Abdur Razzaq completed his arguments opposing the prosecution plea to indict Nizami.
Also known as the war crimes tribunal, the ICT was constituted to prosecute the suspects of 1971 war crimes.
On January 9, the ICT took cognisance of 15 charges brought by the prosecution against Nizami.
The charges brought against Nizami by the prosecution include, offences of killings, genocide, loot, rape and arson, abduction and confinement of Bangalis in greater Pabna, Jessore, Chittagong and Dhaka in collaboration with Razakars, peace committees, Al-Badr and Al-Shams, auxiliary forces of Pakistan occupation army.
In his concluding arguments, Razzaq submitted that the charges pressed by the prosecution against the Jamaat chief were vague.
Moving a petition of Nizami seeking his discharge from the case, Razzaq submitted that the prosecution failed to bring and clarify specific charges considering the nature of the offences allegedly committed by the war crimes suspect.
In his elaborate arguments, Razzaq sought to disprove each of the 15 charges, he uttered not a single word against one charge in which the prosecution held Nizami responsible for allegedly masterminding the killings of the intellectual elite of Bangladesh only days before Pakistani occupation army surrendered on December 16, 1971.
Refuting the other charges, Razzaq submitted that his client had no involvement with the crimes the prosecution alleged he had committed during the war of independence.
The defence lawyer admitted the fact that his client was a cent per cent Pakistani until December 16, 1971, but that could not be misconstrued to allage that he had committed any offence covered by the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973.
Razzaq submitted that only making political speeches addressing his followers, including Razakars, at different places during the war of independence to save Pakistan from Indian aggression as the president of Islami Chhatra Sangha, the then Jamaat’s student wing, Nizami cannot be charged for crimes against humanity.
On December 11, 2011, the prosecution submitted formal charges against Nizami for genocide, crimes against humanity and complicity in such crimes during 1971 war of independence.
On March 13, the prosecution concluded its arguments for Nizami’s indictment.
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