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Thursday, August 5, 2010
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Tribunal hears war crimes of Sayedee

Decides to pass order in his Aug 10 presence

The International Crimes Tribunal yesterday directed the prisons authority to produce detained Jamaat-e-Islami Nayeb-e-Ameer Delwar Hossain Sayedee before it on August 10.

The order came after the hearing on a complaint case (information obtained by an investigating agency) from the prosecution that alleged that Sayedee committed war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and peace during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.

Sayedee is the fifth person against whom the prosecution placed allegations before the tribunal of committing offences under International Crimes Tribunal Act, 1973.

Describing the allegations against Sayedee alias Delu, Syed Rezaur Rahman, on behalf of the seven-member prosecution team led by Chief Prosecutor Ghulam Arieff Tipoo, prayed before the tribunal to issue arrest warrant against Sayedee.

The three-member tribunal, headed by Justice Nizamul Huq, however, did not issue arrest warrant as the prosecution categorically mentioned in their petition that Sayedee is now in custody in connection with other cases filed against him.

"Since the suspect is in jail custody, we are inclined to issue production warrant first asking the jail authority to bring the said suspect [Sayedee] and hear the application [submitted by the prosecution for Sayedee's arrest warrant] in his presence," tribunal chairman Nizamul said.

The tribunal also said hearing on the prosecution's appeal for arrest warrant against Sayedee might take place on August 10. It also fixed August 10 for hearing on the six separate petitions filed earlier by the defence of four other Jamaat leaders, who have been shown arrested in connection with the first complaint case of the prosecution.

Four other top Jamaat leaders--Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami, Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid, Senior Assistant Secretaries General Mohammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Molla--were produced before the tribunal in connection with the first complaint case of the prosecution in connection with war crimes.

In the afternoon, Registrar of the tribunal Md Shahinur Islam told The Daily Star that his office already sent the copy of the "production warrant" to Dhaka Central Jail to bring Sayedee before the tribunal on August 10.

During yesterday's submission, Prosecutor Rezaur said primarily it is evident through the investigation, and collected evidence and information that crimes against humanity (as per article 3(2) of International Crimes Tribunal Act, 1973) were committed in 1971 at different places in Pirojpur and Sayedee committed those crimes.

Counsels for Nizami, Mojahid, Kamaruzzaman, and Molla also stood for Sayedee yesterday.

At the beginning of yesterday's proceedings, counsels for the defence wanted to submit their Vokalatnama (document stating the name of the attorney for the defendant) before the tribunal for Sayedee but the tribunal asked them to do it later as Sayedee is yet to be produced before it.

After submitting three petitions Monday, counsels for Nizami, Mojahid, Kamaruzzaman and Molla, submitted three more petitions to the registrar on Tuesday.

Of the three petitions filed Tuesday, one was filed seeking stay on all further proceedings of the tribunal, another sought release of Nizami, Mojahid, Kamaruzzaman and Molla from jail while the third for sending back the records of two cases to the court concerned.

The two cases were filed against the four with Pallabi Police Station in 2008, and Keraniganj Police Station in 2007, in connection with crimes during the Liberation War.

On Monday, the defence filed three petitions where they prayed for recalling of the arrest warrants issued against the four, sought certified copies of all the documents of the complaint case against the four, and permission to submit Vokalatnama for the four.

The tribunal also told the defence lawyers that due to space constraint in the courtroom, the tribunal decided to allocate 10 seats to the lawyers appearing for the accused.

"We hope you will cooperate," the tribunal chairman told the defence.

Around 20 lawyers including Golam Mohammad Chowdhury, Helaluddin Mollah, and Tajul Islam were present during yesterday's proceedings.

Tajul told The Daily Star that as per the section 9(1) of the act: "The proceedings before a tribunal shall commence upon the submission by the chief prosecutor, or a prosecutor authorised by the chief prosecutor on his behalf, of formal charges of crimes alleged to have been committed by each of the accused persons."

He said no formal charge has been submitted, so they filed a petition seeking stay on all further proceedings of the tribunal.

ALLEGATIONS AGAINST SAYEDEE
Prosecutor Rezaur Rahman at the beginning of his submission gave a brief history of the start of the Liberation War.

He also gave a general description of genocide, crimes against humanity and peace, war crimes committed by the Pakistani occupation force and their auxiliary forces such as Razakar, Al-Badar, and Al-Shams.

After that he stated specific allegations against Sayedee.

He said a contingent of Pakistan army led by then captain Ejaj went to Pirojpur to perpetrate the most barbaric torture in world history on people seeking independence.

After meeting captain Ejaj, Delwar Hossain Sayedee, son of late Yusuf Ali Sikder, Saudkhali, Indurkani thana (Zia Nagar), Pirojpur, (present address- 914 Shahidbagh, Motijheel) pledged to provide the Pakistan army all out cooperation for "saving Pakistan", he said.

After establishing close links with captain Ejaj, Sayedee had established Razakar, Al-Badar and Al-Shams with people of anti-liberation forces including local Jamaat-e-Islami. This was done to establish themselves as an auxiliary force of the Pakistan army in Pirojpur and its adjacent areas, he went on to say.

They took a stand against freedom fighters and the pro-independence citizens and committed murder, arson, looting, rape and also forced women to go to the Pakistan army personnel so that they could rape them, he said in his submission.

Sayedee and his associates along with the Pakistan armed forces entered the houses of pro-independence citizens--Alamgir Poshari, Mahbub Poshsari, Chan Mian, Jahangir Poshari and Kanchan Poshari--around 3:00pm on May 8, 1971, looted their money, gold ornaments and valuables.

The criminals also torched their houses.

The offenders on instructions of Sayedee killed more than nine people with the rifles of the Pakistan army and handed over several people to the Pakistani occupying forces to be killed, he said.

Around 10:00am of June 2, 1971, criminals led by Sayedee and associates of the Pakistan forces entered Hindu Para, eastern side to Tengrakhali village, and looted their money, gold ornaments and valuables, and torched their homes.

The perpetrators held the people of the village hostage, tortured them tying them to coconut trees and shot them dead.

They in association with the Pakistan army killed freedom fighters, innocent people, intellectuals and students, hid their bodies, and tortured young women and killed them after rape.

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