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Maulana AKM Yusuf Trial: ICT terminates proceedings following his death
Saturday, 15 February 2014
Terminating the rest proceedings of the war crimes case against detained senior nayeb-e-ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Maulana AKM Yusuf following his death, the International Crimes Tribunal-2 on Wednesday formally disposed of the case midway with some observations.
 “Now with the death of accused AKM Yusuf the rest of proceeding is terminated. The verdict could not be rendered on hearing closing arguments as the accused died,” said Justice Obaidul Hassan, chairman of the three-member tribunal, flanked by the two other members — Justice M Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice M Shahinur Islam — while announcing formal end and closure of the case. 
 “At the same time, this order does not amount to posthumous acquittal of AKM Yusuf for crimes against humanity and genocide for which he was indicted,” said the tribunal.   Accused Yusuf, 88, had fallen sick in Kashimpur jail in the morning on February 9 and then he was taken to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University hospital where at a stage of providing necessary treatment he was declared dead.   The tribunal said: “We regret that the sudden death of the accused has surely deprived not only him, but the victims and sufferers, who with the hope of getting justice narrated the enormous pains and horrors they endured resulting from serious systematic crimes, coming on dock.” . “The case was at the stage of summing up of cases by both sides.
But with the death of the accused, the rest of proceeding has become redundant. However, the testimony of victims and sufferers who came before the tribunal shall ever be considered as a response to the legitimate needs of justice,” the tribunal noted.   Earlier, the tribunal, however, had turned down the prosecution plea seeking to continue the proceeding despite the death of the Jamaat leader.   Designated prosecutor Syed Haider Ali opposed the long drawn practice that with the death of the accused on trial, further proceeding is terminated. He argued that since both sides already adduced evidence in support of their respective cases, humanity demands verdict as to the culpability of the accused standing trial on charges of internationally recognised crimes like genocide during the 1971 Liberation War.   Opposing the prosecution plea, defence counsel Abdus Sobhan Tarafder told the tribunal that under the existing domestic legal system a criminal case abates with the death of the accused person under trial. There has been no instance of rendering full verdict in any case under such circumstances, he said.  
On August 1 last year, the tribunal indicted Maulana Yusuf for his involvement in crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.   The tribunal considered 13 out of 15 charges of crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War as proposed by the prosecution on May 8 last year which fall under sections 3(2), 4 (1) and 4 (2) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973.   Founder of the notorious Razakar outfit during the 1971 Liberation War, Yusuf, now 88, also the second man in the hierarchy of Jamaat leadership, faces charges, including genocide, killing, loot, arson, deportation of people and religious conversion.   According to the prosecution, Jamaat leader Yusuf, a member of the infamous Malik cabinet in occupied Bangladesh, a puppet government backed by the Pakistan junta, had formed for the first time in Khulna in 1971 the vigilante group Razakar with the members of Jamaat-e-Islami that acted as an auxiliary force of the Pakistan occupation army to actively thwart the Bangladesh liberation forces.   Yusuf had also acted as the chairman of the Peace Committee (Collaborator) in Bagerhat, Satkhira and Khulna districts during the Liberation War. - See more at: