War crimes accused Ghulam Azam's son Brig Gen (dismissed) Abdullahil Aman Azmi yesterday told the International Crimes Tribunal-1 about his role during HM Ershad's regime in 1982.
While testifying for his father at Tribunal-1, Azmi said he was assigned to censor programmes and news items broadcast by Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar in 1982-83, during the second spell of the martial law.
Azmi was a second lieutenant at that time and carried out his responsibilities under supervision of superior officers of the army, he claimed.
A military ruler always imposes strict control over the media while assuming power, Azmi said, adding that a military ruler does so, so that the media can not spread resentment among the people and to stop the media from criticising military activities and the ruler.
Azmi said he had to check all the items to go on the air, entertainment or news programmes. He also controlled schedule of the programmes.
“If there were any approved but sensitive news, I stayed at the news control room beside the news reader until the end of the broadcast,” said the dismissed army officer.
The defence witness also talked about India's stance toward East Bengal before 1947 and East Pakistan from 1947 to 1971.
Azmi said Indians, more specifically people of the Congress party, were always active to retain its control and authority over East Bengal.
After independence in 1947, India exposed its “colonial and expansionary” attitude, Azmi claimed.
Azmi also talked about India's early relationship with its neighbouring countries but the tribunal expunged it from the records.
The proceeding of the case was adjourned until today.
The tribunal yesterday rejected a petition of the defence seeking a recall of the investigation officer in the war crimes case against Ghulam Azam for cross-examination.
The tribunal also rejected another petition for providing division facility to Ghulam Azam.