Barrister Tuhin Malik on political use of judiciary & points regarding Sayedee case


You are trying them under an act of 1973, and you are using articles 47 and 47(Ka) of our constitution. By doing so, you are implying that we can use retrospective acts to try them. If you can use retrospective acts to ensure absolute justice [in this matter], then, as the BDR massacre took place on 25th February [2009], you are forgiving them [BDR killers] with [nominal punishments of] 6 years prison sentences and 300 taka fines, citing the reason that there is no act to try them for rebellion [to ensure more severe sentences]. Why could you not use a retrospective act using article 47 to try [BDR killers] for this massacre, like you did against Kader Mollah and Sayeedi?

Zillur: that [BDR] massacre also falls under the definition of genocide…

Tuhin Malik: [agreeing positively] it falls under genocide. It is said in article 48 (2b) that if someone is not committing a massacre, even if someone is only causing physical and mental torture, that can also be called a genocide. I am not going to that [arguing about genocide terms], I am just pointing this out firstly.

Secondly, as you have rightly pointed out, can you really try members of an auxiliary force for a genocide when you have let the real [main] criminals free? To analyse the common law, let’s say that we have committed a crime here such as a murder, then we have dumped the body in Burigonga river with the help of my driver and your assistants, now, these people [ helpers inc driver] have been tried and hanged [for assisting], but nothing has happened to us [real killers]. You are not bringing the real killers and criminals under punishment, but you are trying those who assisted them as members of auxiliary forces. There remains a question in such a process.

Thirdly what I want to say is, especially regarding the Sayeedi’s case, is purely a legal [point]. I am a wholehearted supporter of war crimes tribunals. There is no chance of [accusing me as a Jamaat supporter], I am an extreme opponent of the Jamaat. I want to repeat that there is NO way of accusing me as a Rajakar or a nastik from either side. If I go that way I will be labelled a Rajakar, if I go this way I will be called a nastik. It’s so impossible to remain on the grey side [impartial] out of these two black and white sides.

In Sayeedi’s case, he was accused of 20 accusations. He was acquitted in 12 of these, and was found guilty in 8. He was given the death penalty in only 2 of these. What are these 2 cases?

One of these is the murder of Ibrahim Kutti. It was alleged that he [Sayeedi] killed Ibrahim Kutti. But look, I have seen the certified copy of [original] case regarding Ibrahim Kutti. On 17.07.1972 his wife filed a FIR accusing some individuals for killing her husband. But Sayeedi’s name was not in that FIR. Well, a case was filed for this crime, his [Sayeedi] name was not in it, for the same crime after so many years he [Sayeed] is being tried. This is a case of double-jeopardy, a trial already took place. This is legal point that will definitely rise during the hearing at the appellate division. The 2nd case [for which Sayeedi was given death] was that he killed someone named Bali. But we saw his brother Shukhranjan Bali saying on TV that he [Sayeedi] was never involved in the killing of his brother. He [Bali’s brother] was abducted by police or RAB from in front of the ICT. [Sayeedi’s lawyers] even took the matter to the high court for his rescue and to bring him to the witness box. But he has not been found yet.

These matters will be analysed in the appellate division. Some matters are purely legal and these should be left to the law. Some matters are purely political and should be dealt politically. *But if we mix up legal and political matters together then whatever has been happening at Shahbag will take place [in court] too. The tribunals are being finger-conducted from Shahbag directing them to pass on specific verdicts, even our prime minister is saying to the tribunals what verdicts are desirable [ to her], while the opposing side is demanding for acquittals. If we block the [independent] voice of the judiciary by such finger-directing, then justice will be suffocated. This will cause the death of justice under suffocation [political pressure].*

Source: Taj Sylhet