Justice Wahab Mia’s opinion on the Kamaruzzaman verdict

Tribunal convicted Kamaruzzaman and gave him the capital punishment. The four justices from the appellate bench unanimously convicted him as the criminal. Three justices consented to reinstate the capital punishment but the other one gave him life time imprisonment. Tribunal gave him capital punishment because of the two accusations. They are Shohagpur massacre and murder of Golam Mostafa. Then appellate division of the Supreme Court concluded defendant’s appeal by reinstating death sentence for Shohagpur massacre.

Justice Shurendro Kumer Sinha (current chief justice), Justice Hassan Foyez Siddique and Justice A H M Shamsuddin Chowdhury reinstated the death sentence. And justice Wahab Mia gave him life term imprisonment convicting him for one accusation and released him from all  other accusations. This Justice commented on the verdict about the involvements of Kamaruzzaman for crimes against humanity during the liberation war.

He said on the verdict that it is necessary to consider two things before judgment, about the involvements in criminal activities of Kamaruzzaman during the liberation war. Like whether he was the main organizer of the Al Badar bahini in 1971 and whether he was the leader of Islami Chhatra Shangha. On the second point the Justice came up with positive decision. While deciding on the first point, he opined that prosecution could not prove that Kamaruzzaman was the main organizer of the Al Badar troop ( page 255, 7th line from the bottom).

3. Second witness from the prosecution Monowar Hossain Khan alias Mohon Munshi was titled as the ‘Star witness’ by the tribunal . Three of the four justices of the tribunal relied on the evidences of this witness to reinstate the death sentence of Kamaruzzaman. But the other justice Wahab Mia stated the decision below.

As far as the Justice Wahab Mia concerned, this witness introduced himself as the gate keeper of the Al Badar camp(the camp where Kamaruzzam tortured)  and presented a totally false and illusory story which has been made only with the intention to relate Kamaruzzaman with the 3 allegations. The Justice showed Five reasons (page 263, Last para and page 267, 2nd para) supporting the statement. He consented with the ‘suggestion’ given by the defendant at the end. According to the suggestion, that witness is an opportunist and a fraud. That witness supported Awami league before the liberation war, he sided with the Pakistanis during the liberation war participated in plundering and now after the liberation he took the chance to be in government side being against Kamaruzzaman (page 279, 4th line from the top).

4.The lawyers of Kamaruzzaman could not  complete the interrogation of the investigation officers in the international crime tribunal. The lawyers of Kamaruzzaman showed that they could not present in the court because of strike and political instability. Tribunal didn’t extend the time but ordered to carry on the judicial procedure in spite of appeal for time extension by the youngest lawyer. The defendant appealed to reconsider the decision but the tribunal denied that. Justice Wahab Mia said about this in the verdict that, defendant has the right to interrogate the irrelevance between the opinion given by the witness to the investigation officer and in the tribunal. And justice cannot be ensured without ensuring this right of the defendant ( page 434, 9th line from the bottom and last para from page 277).

5. Tribunal found Kamaruzzaman guilty on the charge number 3 and sanctioned him death sentence. Though three justices consensually sanctioned same punishment, another justice sanctioned different penalty. That means three justices from the appeal department reinstated the penalty given by the tribunal. And Justice Wahab Mia lessened the penalty from death sentence to life time imprisonment. To prove this accusation in the tribunal Government presented five witnesses. The other four witnesses except Mohon Munshi are:

PW 10- Md Jalal Uddin, PW11- Hasen Banu, PW 12- Hafiza Bewa and PW 13- Korfuli Bewa.

Justise Wahab decided on the witnesses statement that, the witness was taught to say Kamaruzzaman as the chief of Razakar and that’s why there is no substantial reason to believe that witness (last line of the page 324). He commented about the statement of PW 11 that though this witness said Kamaruzzaman conspired to kill her husband, she could not tell the time , date and place of the occurrence. Because of this reason her statement of witness is not worth believing (page 327. 10th line from the top). He told about the statement of PW 12 that, this witness heard from elderly persons about Kamaruzzaman’s involvement but he didn’t mention any of the elderly persons and he didn’t mention about Kamaruzzaman’s involvement to the investigation officer which is a significant irrelevance (page 331, 12th line from the top and 3rd line from the bottom). He told about the statement of PW 13 that, witness didn’t mention about the involvement of Kamaruzzaman to the investigation officer which is an important irrelevance. This witness was taught to use Kamaruzzaman’s name with that occurrence that’s why his statement about Kamaruzzaman’s involvement was not acceptable anyway (page 335, 6th line from the top, page 336, 7th line from the top, page 336, 10th line from the bottom). Shishir Monir , the lawyer of Kamaruzzaman.

Source: http://insidebd.net/news/2015/02/27/details/12313