G Azam Trial: ICT-1 allow more time for defence summing up arguments

The International Crimes Tribunal-1 on Thursday allowed one more day instead of the earlier fixed two days for the defence to continue summing-up arguments in the Ghulam Azam case, being tried on charges of crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.

The three-member tribunal, headed by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir, passed the order, after hearing the remaining defence summing-up arguments by Barrister Imran Siddiq for and on behalf of Barrister Abdur Razzaq, the principal defence counsel.

On Wednesday, Barrister Razzaq submitted a plea before the tribunal seeking to recall its April 2 order asking him to conclude summing-up arguments by Thursday in absentia, which was opposed by the prosecution.

So far, the defence counsel exhausted eleven days for closing arguments especially on law points in the Ghulam Azam case while the prosecution finished it within ten days.

On May 13 last year, the tribunal indicted self-confessed Pakistan collaborator (exonerated) Ghulam Azam for his involvement in crimes against humanity during the Liberation War under section 3 (2) and section 4 (2) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973.

The charges against the former ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami include involvement in murder and torture of unarmed people, conspiracy, planning, incitement and complicity to commit genocide and crimes against humanity during the war in collaboration with Pakistani junta and its auxiliary forces like Razakar, peace committees, Al Badr and Al Shams.

Meanwhile, the day’s scheduled testimony of prosecution witness-25 against detained war crimes accused BNP MP Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and the charge framing on crimes against humanity during the Liberation War against ex-Awami League leader of Akhaura in Brahmanbaria Mobarak Hossain, now in custody, were deferred to April 8 and April 10 respectively to provide the defence counsel a whole day for closing arguments in the Ghulam Azam case.