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Trial of Maulana Nizami : Prosecution gets five new witnesses
Tuesday, 27 August 2013
The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)-1 Tuesday (27th August) accepted a plea of the prosecution seeking permission for examining five additional witnesses against incumbent Ameer (chief) of Jamaat-e-Islami, Maulana Matiur Rahman Nizami.
Advocate Mohammad Ali, the conducting prosecutor in this trial, yesterday filed the petition, pleading for permitting them to produce five additional witnesses against Nizami, charged for committing crimes against humanity during the War of Liberation, before the tribunal.
The defence however opposed the petition and filed a written objection.
Taking part in the hearing today, prosecutor Ali said, \"Some important material witnesses were found against the accused as the investigation officer was conducting further probe into the alleged crimes of Nizami. For the proper justice, we need to examine them before the tribunal.\"
Indication to the fact that the prosecution already got 102 witnesses against the accused and in about a year till the start of the recording of the depositions of the prosecution witnesses (PWs), they were only able to produced 17 witnesses till today, Justice A.T.M Fazle Kabir, chairman of the three-member panel of ICT-1, said, \"You have already have hundred witnesses and now you need more? Seeing your style of recording the depositions, we are thinking that this trial will go on for months. Why do you need these additional witnesses?\"
As the prosecutor tried to mention a provision in the act, the ICT-1 chairman added, \"You would not get it as because there are provisions in the act, you have to satisfy the tribunal first.\"
Justice Jahangir Hossain, member of the Judges panel of ICT-1, in his observation said, \"You always say that the defence is trying to linger the trial and hamper it. In this case, it seems the prosecution here is trying to linger it.\"
In his part of the hearing, advocate Mizanul Islam, counsel for Nizami, said, \"Mainly the prosecutor and the investigation officer (IO) are trying to cover up their lapses in this trial so far, by trying to producing these five additional witnesses. There is no scope of further investigation by the IO, once the final report was been submitted. They are trying to hamper the preparation of the defence by changing the PWs time and again.\"
After hearing both the sides, the tribunal passed an order accepting the prosecution plea, saying, \"After perusing both the application submitted by the prosecution and the defence and hearing the matter what they tried to say, we are inclined to accept the prosecution plea. For the ends of justice we are permitting them to produce five more witnesses.\"
Meanwhile, after passing of the order, when the time to produce PWs to testify came, it was a blunder from the prosecution. The prosecutor brought a witness from the very list that the tribunal accepted some moments earlier.
Drawing the attention of the tribunal in this matter, defence counsel said how they will examine him without any preparation and how the prosecutor knew that they would get the chance to produce him before the tribunal.
Expressing its displeasure, the tribunal also asked the prosecutor that why they brought witnesses from the new list and how they knew that they would get the chance to examine him.
\"Sir, we have guessed it that for the ends of justice you would allow us to do it,\" prosecutor Ali said.
Without saying anything the tribunal then adjourned the hearing of the trial till August 29. Accepting a plea of the defence, the tribunal set that day only for recording the deposition of the witness. He will be quizzed on September 1.
With these five new witnesses, the total numbers of PWs in this trial now stand at 107 and only 17 of them vouched against the accused so far.