ICT indicts Quasem: AKM Yusuf trial begins


September 5, 2013

The International Crimes Tribunal-1on Thursday indicted detained Jamaat leader Mir Quasem Ali on 14 charges of crimes against humanity he had committed in Chittagong during Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.
The tribunal fixed September 30 to begin Quasem’s formal trial through an opening statement by the prosecution and examining prosecution witnesses (pw’s).
The tribunal said examining the pw’s would take place every working day.
It directed the defence team to submit a list of defence witnesses and documents, if any, before the tribunal by September 30.
After the charge framing the tribunal asked Quasem whether he was guilty or not. However, he pleaded ‘not’ guilty.
On the14 charges, two are for abduction, torture in confinement and murders, and the rest includes, abduction, confinement, and torturing in confinement.
Quasem, now 61, comes from Munshidangi Sutalori in Harirampur police station of Manikganj, arrested on June 17, 2012 from the office of Bangla daily Naya Diganta in the city. The newspaper is owned by the accused.
Quasem is detained at Kashimpur Jail.
On May 16, the prosecution submitted the formal charges against Quasem.
The formal trial against alleged Razakar founder AKM Yusuf began Thursday in the International Crimes Tribunal-2 through the opening statement of the prosecution against the accused.
Prosecutor Syed Rezaur Rahman placed the opening statement and said that the accused became Jamaat deputy amir in 1971 and joined the cabinet as a minister at that time.
Rezanur also said Yusuf became greater Khulna chairman of Peace Committee, formed peace committee at different places in the region and collected members for Razakr Bahini.
Later, the prosecution produced its first prosecution witness, Md Liakat Ali, now 63, hailing from village Shantidanga under Morelganj in Bagerhat.
He testified that Yusuf addressed a meeting at Morelganj on April 28, 1971 to form Peace Committee and collect men for Razakar Bahini.
Later, Yusuf’s defence counsel began his cross-examination of the witness but remained incomplete when the tribunal adjourned proceedings until September 25.
In ICT-1, prosecution began hearing on charge-framing against absconding war crimes accused and Faridpur BNP leader Zahid Hossain Khokon alias Khokon Razakar.
Prosecutor Mukhlesur Rahman Badal read out the 11 charges proposed against Khokon, president of Nagarkanda union BNP and sitting mayor of Nagarkanda municipality in Faridpur.
Khokon faces charges for looting, arson, confinement and killings during the liberation war.
Badal’s submission remained incomplete when the tribunal adjourned the hearing until September 17.

Source: New Age BD