Bringing Charge against Maolana Nizami and Mujahid after 40 Years is Intended for Suppressing the Political Opponents: Barrister Razzaq in Petition Hearing
Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Barrister Abdur Razzaq the counsel of detained Jamaat leaders and ex ministers Motiur Rahman Nizami and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid presented his arguments in the hearing of the petition for discharge. He said if Nizami and Mujahid were involved with the crimes during the war of 1971, there would have been numerous cases against them in the last 40 years. The main intention of filing case in the tribunal after such a long period is to suppress and destroy the political opponents. Barrister Razzaq presented some photographs and news which show that the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other Awami League leaders have had meeting with the accused Jamaat leaders in the past. He said there was no allegation of war crime when Awami League leaders have participated in movement with Jamaat leaders. The false charges are brought as Jamaat has become their political opponent in recent time. Each one of the accusations is groundless and politically motivated.
The prosecution has already finished their hearing for framing of charges against he two leaders. Yesterday Barrister Razzaq started substantive arguments on legal points. The defence has also finished its primary arguments. The next date of hearing is 24 April when Mr. Razzaq will continue his arguments.
Barrister Abdur Razzaq said, the trial is politically motivated; its main objective is to achieve political goals. Jamaat thinks that Islamic society cannot be established without democratic system. So Jamaat has been working in support of democracy from its very beginning. Right after the ending of martial law in 1962 Jamaat worked together with other political forces and formed Combined Opposition Parties (COP) together with Awami League, Muslim League, Nezame Islam Party, NAP and other parties to strengthen the democratic process. The first chief executive of this alliance against tyranny of Ayub Khan was Professor Golam Azam.
Barrister Abdur Razzaq said Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) was formed to accelerate te democratic reform process after the 1965 India –Pakistan war. Awami League, Council Muslim League, Nezame Islam Party, Pakistan Democratic Party and Jamaat-i-Islami were member of this alliance. Professor Golam Azam was the secretary of PDM. In 1969, PDM was extended with a new name Democratic Action Committee and included 3 more parties. In January 1069, Golam Azam participated in a meeting on behalf of DAC with President Ayub khan. Ayub khan resigned in face of massive movement against him on 24 March 1969.
Barrister Abdur Razzaq said Jamaat urged for handing over of power to Awami League as this party won 167 seats in national council. On 17 March 1971, Golam Azam requested the government to hand over power to Awami League. On refusal to do so, the war broke out. Jamaat condemned the Pakistani brutality and said against the army massacre in meetings with Tikka Khan and Yahya Khan. These could not be published in newspaper due to censorship regulation.
Barrister Abdur Razzaq further said, after the independence, the government’s decision to cancel the citizenship of Golam Azam did not sustain in the High Court Division and Appellate Division. He has been living as a Bangladeshi citizen. No case or FIR have been lodged against Golam Azam, Nizami and Mujahid anywhere in the country in the last forty years. They are not involved with the heinous crimes which we have heard today. These are fabricated and ill-motivated. It is a part of political vendetta. The whole nation is already aware of this already. He said Jamaat secured 6 seats in the 1979 election under the name of Islamic Democratic League (IDL). It won 10 seats in 1986 election and earned the recognition of a parliamentarian party. Jamaat played an important role for restoring democracy after the promulgation of martial law on 24 March 1082 by Ershad. From 1983 to 1990, Jamaat has played a remarkable contribution together with two political alliances led by BNP and Awami League for restoring democracy. In this movement, Sheikh Hasina, Tofail Ahmed, Abdus Samad Azad and other Awami League leaders participated in numerous meetings with Motiur Rahaman Nizami, Ali Ahsan Mujhid, Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Kader Molla. Ershad resigned on 6 December 1990. Jamaat got 18 seats in 1991 election which was a vital factor for forming the new government. Oth BNP and Awami League soughts help of Jamaat in forming a government. One presidium member of Awami League offered Ali Ahsan Mujahid of 3 ministry and 6 women seats in parliament in return of supporting Awami League. Jamaat decided to support BNP, but it did not take any ministry.
Barrister Abdur Razzaq said in October 1991 presidential election, ex Chief Justice Badrul Haidar Chowdhury met Golam Azam for seeking vote as an Awami League candidate. However, Jamaat gave support to the BNP candidate.
After the 1994 Magura by election, Jamaat took part in movement for caretaker government with Awami League and Jatiya Party. Jamaat joined the Four Party Alliance in 1999 and protested against the terrorism, anarchy and brutality of Awami League. Jamaat got 17 seats in 201 election and 3 ministries in the BNP led government.
Awami League assessed that Jamaat was the cause of their defeat in election. So they tried to weaken Jamaat with various strategies and having failed in that they have decide to stage the drama of war crime. They amended the 1973 Act in to make it possible to try the Jamaat leaders. This agenda of destroying Jamaat was initiated after the 2009 election. So the trial intended for political persecution is void ab initiao.
Barrister Abdur Razzaq said that it is historically proven that the International Crimes Tribunal Act 1973 was enacted to try 195 marked foreign war criminals. Later all of them were taken to India. In April 1973 Bangladesh govt. issued a gazette notification including the names of the 195 war criminals. On 15 July 1973 the 1st amendment of the constitution was passed to try the war criminals. International Crimes Tribunal Act was passed on 20 July 1973 to try 195 criminals. In 1974, the 195 war criminals were pardoned by a tripartite treaty among Bangladesh India and Pakistan. Thus this chapter was closed.
He said the closed chapter was reopened in 2009 on political motive for destroying the opposition using all the state machinery, judicial process and law. The tribunal was formed by amending the Act for trial of political leaders instead of the real criminals.
It is unconstitutional and illegal to harass some political leaders where the original criminals are pardoned.
Barrister Abdur Razzaq also presented his speech about war crime trials and their procedures in various countries. He said the trial of war crime began in the western world in Nuremberg in August 1945.The list of war criminals were prepared during the war. The trial began right after the war and this practice continued in Tokyo, Yugoslavia nd Rwanda everywhere. But our tribunal is established 40 years after the war ended and after all the original criminals are pardoned and sent to their country. The allegation against Nizami and Mujahid is brought after such long delay due to political rivalry.
Nothing in the charges brought against Nizami and Mujahid shows that they have committed the crimes alleged in the charge. There is no prima facie case against thm, so they should be released under rule 37. The charged brought against them are uncertain, no clear description of the crimes is given. So this charge is null under rule 16. Also under national and international law, the charges brought against Nizami and Mujahid are not cognizable. The whole charge sheet is flawed, unclear, erroneous and illegal.
The requirement of having full description of the accused, witnesses, date and time is not complied with violating rule 20(1). Under ICCPR article 14(3) the accused must be given the complete description of the allegation against him so that he can answer them.
Barrister Abdur Razzaq the prosecution have applied under rule 19(3) for taking in judicial notice the facts of commission of crimes by Pakistan army in collaboration with Jamaat, Islami Chhatra Shanggha, Peace Committee, Rajakar, Al Badar, Al Shams etc. In order to take something in judicial notice, the fact must be established as common knowledge, which the prosecution failed to do. This was an attempt to hide the weakness of the charge by abusing the law.
He said there is no legal or factual basis of the charges brought against Nizami and Mujahid. No reliable evidence can be found in the prosecution documents that prove the crimes alleged against them. The false witnesses cannot prove any commission of crime by the accused. Criminal trial cannot be held with assumption, stories or literature. Barrister Abdur Razzaq quoted some case referenced in support of this.
Barrister Abdur Razzaq said the charge submitted by the prosecution is no charge in the eye of law; it is fabricated, erroneous and flawed. So the charges against Nizami and Mujahid should be dropped.