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SC Hearing Day 18

Mohiuddin wasn't present at spot

Counsel claims; court terms it 'hypothetical'

Barrister Abdullah-al Mamun yesterday argued in the Supreme Court that condemned convict in Bangabandhu murder case, Maj (retd) AKM Mohiuddin, was not present at the scene of Bangabandhu's killing on August 15, 1975.

Mamun is the counsel for condemned convicts Bazlul Huda and AKM Mohiuddin in the case.

The apex court however asked Mamun not to place any hypothetical submission, reminding him that it was not a magistrate court.

The court made the comment after it found a few of Mamun's arguments irrelevant.

Mamun quoted from a witness statement that said AKM Mohiuddin was bringing Bangabandhu down to the ground floor of his house on the day of the killing, and Maj (retd) Bazlul Huda and Maj (retd) Noor Chowdhury shot and killed Bangabandhu on the stairs with their sten guns.

The statement also said Bazlul Huda asked Mohiuddin to step aside on the stairs as he was brining Bangabandhu downstairs, and then Huda and Noor shot Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Mamun argued if the statement was true, Mohiuddin would have been killed by the bullets along with Bangabandhu, as the stairwell was not very wide, and the fact that Mohiuddin was not hit by bullets proves that the witness statement is not true. He went on to argue that his client AKM Mohiuddin was actually not even present at the place of occurrence on August 15, 1975.

Five condemned convicts in the case -- dismissed army personnel Syed Farooqur Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Muhiuddin Ahmed, AKM Mohiuddin, and Bazlul Huda are now behind bars.

Four of them, except AKM Mohiudin, were caught during the last Awami League regime. AKM Mohiuddin was brought back to Bangladesh from the US in June 2007 by the immediate past caretaker government.

Mamun yesterday made the arguments while placing submissions on behalf of AKM Mohiuddin before a five-member full bench of the Appellate Division of Supreme Court headed by Justice Md Tafazzul Islam during the 18th day's hearing of the convicts' appeals.

At the start of his arguments, Mamun told the court that his client's yesterday's submissions were the first for him, as he had been tried in the lower court in absentia.

The court questioned Mamun how could his client possibly make submissions while he was absconding abroad, and added that Mamun would also not be in the court if his client was not extradited back to the country.

Mamun said his client's name was not mentioned in the first information report of the case, but later his name was added. He argued that AKM Mohiuddin is a victim of misidentification since there are three Mohiuddins accused in the case. One is Lt Col (retd) Mohiuddin Ahmed of the army artillery corps, another is Maj (retd) AKM Mohiuddin of the lancer corps, and there is a third Mohiuddin who took the body of Bangabandhu to Tungipara for burial.

The court asked Mamun whether his client was implicated in the case by force, and asked him to place submissions on which points his client might get relief.

Mamun said Habildar (retd) Quddus Sikdar, a prosecution witness, claimed that Bazlul Huda shot Sheikh Kamal, and then AKM Mohiuddin along with his force went upstairs. Quddus also claimed, when Bangabandhu saw people downstairs as Mohiuddin was bringing him down through the stairs, Bangabandhu asked them, "What do you want?" Then Bazlul Huda said something in English, and Mohiuddin stepped aside on the stairs, and Huda and Noor shot Bangabandhu to death.

Mamun said the complainant in this case Muhitul Islam, and security officer of Bangabandhu's house Nurul Islam were wounded by 'chharra guli' [shotgun pellets] of the sten guns [sic], but those did not hit his client AKM Mohiuddin.

The court retorted by asking Mamun why he was talking about 'chharra guli' of sten guns, and admonished him again by telling him to speak with evidence.

The court added that AKM Mohiuddin was a trained member of the army, not a novice, and he knew very well about how sten guns and bullets work.

The court asked Mamun whether he saw the stairwell of Bangabandu's house and whether he measured the width and length of the stairwell where Bangabandhu was killed, and then said his arguments were hypothetical and the country's apex court is not a place for such arguments.

Mamun replied saying he was pointing out the contradictions in the witness statement, on the basis of which his client was convicted.

The court ordered Mamun to conclude his submissions by today.

Earlier in the day, Advocate Abdur Razzaque Khan concluded placing his arguments on behalf of convict Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan.

He said his client was not a beneficiary of the killing of Bangabandhu and his family, and he was not involved in the incidents.

The hearing is scheduled to resume at 9:30am today.

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Barrister Abdullah-al Mamun seems to be incoherant in making his arguments. On 10th day's hearing, while defending Major Bazlul Huda (retd), he claimed that his his client was innocent and had not been involved in the killings of Bangabandhu and his family members. In his defence he quoted the statement of prosecution witness Abdul Quddus. Now, on 18th day's hearinng, while defending another convicted killer Maj AKM Mohiuddin (retd), Mamun quoted another witness as saying, 'Huda asked Mohiuddin to step aside on the stairs as he was bringing Bangabandhu downstairs, and then Huda and Noor shot Bangabandhu'. Is he going to acknowledge the fact that Huda is one of the killers of Bangabandhu, as he contradicts his own argument made on 10th day's hearing? It is, however, not only the lack of his professional skill but also an ethical question.

: Shah Mostain Billah

 

 


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