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Dhaka Tribune

Prosecution in Mobarak case stumbles

Update : 21 May 2014, 08:34 PM

At the end of the argument session in the trial of Mobarak Hossain alias Mobarak Ali, the prosecution yesterday failed to give explanations to many questions posed by the International Crimes Tribunal.

Later the tribunal set May 27 for further presentation of arguments in the trial and asked the prosecution to appear with the replies to their questions.

Yesterday was set for submitting the defence argument and rebuttal of the prosecution. According to the usual procedure, the case was supposed to be kept for verdict after the rebuttal.

Defence counsel Tajul Islam submitted on legal points. He claimed that the prosecution wanted to convict Mobarak but they could not decide how they could do so and therefore they became confused. “This situation has blurred the case.” He said the case was nothing but an evil attempt to convict his client who is a “victim of the conspiracy.”

Tajul claimed that the documents in which the prosecution had relied upon were not authentic and the accused could not be convicted on the basis of that. He also brushed aside the prosecution’s suggestion that Mobarak had been a razakar commander of Akhaura during the 1971 Liberation War.

Later, prosecutor Md Shahidur Rahman stood for giving his rebuttal. There he faced too many questions to which he failed to give any answers.

Justice M Enayetur Rahim, chairman of the three-member panel, at first drew the attention of the prosecutor to the fact that he had submitted documents of around 170 pages, but referred to only 10 or 15 pages before the court. “It seems that the investigation agency handed over the documents to you and you just rendered it before the tribunal.”

Couple of days ago, the tribunal asked the prosecutor to make sure that the list of razakars was collected from the deputy commissioner of Brahmanbaria. And at the final stage, when the tribunal reminded the prosecutor about it, Shahidur could not answer sufficiently.

Justice Rahim also showed how the investigation officer had left a footnote on a page of the prosecution documents and the prosecutor produced the documents to the tribunal including that page even without erasing the footnote. The footnote mentioned that the document was photocopied and not attested.

When Shahidur pointed out on a “clerical mistake” where there were two versions of time (am and pm) in the formal charge, the tribunal said: “We cannot change any court record on your verbal submission.”

Shahidur with the help of his senior colleague Syed Haider Ali faced the tribunal and concluded promising that they would submit a petition for making the necessary corrections.

Defence lawyer Tajul opposed it saying in that case, they would need to cross examine the witnesses. The tribunal then said: “You will get time for hearing on this petition.”

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