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Guilty Verdict of Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal on Abdul Quader Molla

Guilty Verdict of Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal on Abdul Quader Molla

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Published by Tarek Fatah
Abdul Quader Molla was found guilty for his role in the 1971 genocide of Bengali people by the Pakistan Army. The full verdict contains this paragraph:
“The extermination of the Jewish people by the Nazi regime, the atomic crime of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the massacre of Biafra, the napalm of Vietnam, all the great genocides of humanity have found a new equivalent: East Pakistan."
Abdul Quader Molla was found guilty for his role in the 1971 genocide of Bengali people by the Pakistan Army. The full verdict contains this paragraph:
“The extermination of the Jewish people by the Nazi regime, the atomic crime of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the massacre of Biafra, the napalm of Vietnam, all the great genocides of humanity have found a new equivalent: East Pakistan."

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Published by: Tarek Fatah on Feb 10, 2013
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 1
44441-02 Feb-Final- at 7:40 pm/ 44921-03 feb-1:45 pm off-44927-home at8:46International Crimes Tribunal-2 (ICT-2)[Tribunal constituted under section 6 (1) of the Act No. XIX of 1973]Old High Court Building, Dhaka, BangladeshICT-BD Case No. 02 of 2012
[Charges: crimes against Humanity and aiding & complicity to commit suchcrimes as specified in section 3(2)(a)(g)(h) of the Act No. XIX of 1973]
The Chief ProsecutorVs.Abdul Quader MollaBeforeJustice Obaidul Hassan, ChairmanJustice Md. Mozibur Rahman Miah, MemberJudge Md. Shahinur Islam, MemberFor the Prosecution:
Mr. Golam Arief Tipoo, Chief ProsecutorMr. Mohammad Ali, Prosecutor
For the Accused :
Mr. Abdur Razzak, Senior Advocate, Bangladesh Supreme CourtMr. Ekramul Haque, Advocate, Bangladesh Supreme CourtMr. Abdus Sobhan Tarafder, Advocate, Bangladesh Supreme CourtMr. Tajul Islam, Advocate, Bangladesh Supreme CourtMr. Farid Uddin Khan, Advocate, Bangladesh Supreme CourtMr. Sajjad Ali Chowdhury, Advocate
 
 2
Date of delivery of Judgment: 05 February, 2013JUDGEMENT
[Under section 20(1) of the Act XIX of 1973
]
I. Opening words
This Tribunal (ICT-2), a lawfully constituted domestic judicial forum,after dealing with the matter of prosecution and trial of internationallyrecognized crimes i.e. crimes against humanity perpetrated in 1971 in theterritory of Bangladesh, during the War of Liberation is going to deliverits verdict in a case after holding trial in presence of the person accusedof crimes alleged. From this point of view, delivering unanimous verdictin this case by the Tribunal-2 (ICT-2) is indeed a significant occasion.At all stages of proceedings the prosecution and the defence have madeadmirable hard work in advancing their valued arguments on academicand legal aspects including citations of the evolved jurisprudence. Itpredictably has stimulated us to address the legal issues intimatelyinvolved in the case, together with the factual aspects as well. We takethe privilege to appreciate and value their significant venture.In delivering the verdict we have deemed it indispensable in highlightingsome issues, in addition to legal and factual aspects, relating to historicaland contextual background, characterization of crimes, commencementof proceedings, procedural history reflecting the entire proceedings,charges framed, in brief, and the laws applicable to the case for thepurpose of determining culpability of the accused. Next, together withthe factual aspects we have made endeavor to address the legal issuesinvolved and then discussed and evaluated evidence adduced in relationto charges independently and finally have penned our finding onculpability of the accused.Now, having regard to section 10(1) (j), section 20(1) and section 20(2)of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973[Act No. XIX of 1973]this ‘Tribunal’ known as International Crimes Tribunal-2 (ICT-2) herebyrenders and pronouncing the following unanimous judgment.
 
 3
II. Commencement of proceedings1.
 
On 18 December 2011, the Prosecution filed the ‘formal charge’in the form of petition as required under section 9(1) of the Act of 1973against accused Abdul Quader Molla. After providing due opportunity of preparation to accused, the Tribunal, under Rule 29(1) of the Rules of Procedure
[hereinafter referred to as ‘ROP’
], took cognizance of offences as mentioned in section
3(2) (a)(b)(g)(h)
of the Act of 1973.The
Tribunal
after hearing both sides and on perusal of the formal charge,
documents and statement
of 
witnessesframed
 
six charges
 
relating to the
commission of ‘crimes against humanity’ as specified in section3(2)(a) of the Act of 1973 or in the alternative for ‘complicity incommitting such crimes’ as specified in section 3(2)(a)((g)(h) of the saidAct . The charges so framed were read out and explained to the accusedAbdul Qauder Molla in open court when he pleaded not guilty andclaimed to be tried and thus the trial started.
III. Introductory Words
 
2.
 
International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973 (the Act XIX of 1973)[
hereinafter referred to as ‘the Act of 1973
] is an
ex-post facto
 domestic legislation enacted in 1973 and after significant updating theICTA 1973 through amendment in 2009, the present government hasconstituted the Tribunal ( 1
st
Tribunal) on 25 March 2010 . The 2
nd
 Tribunal has been set up on 22 March 2012. The degree of fairness ashas been contemplated in the Act and the Rules of Procedure (ROP)formulated by the Tribunals under the powers conferred in section 22 of the principal Act are to be assessed with reference to the national wishessuch as, the long denial of justice to the victims of the atrocitiescommitted during war of liberation 1971 and the nation as a whole.
3.
 
There should be no ambiguity that even under retrospectivelegislation (Act XIX enacted in 1973) initiation to prosecute crimesagainst humanity, genocide and system crimes committed in violation of customary international law is fairly permitted. It is to be noted that theICTY, ICTR and SCSL the judicial bodies backed by the United Nations(UN) have been constituted under their respective retrospective Statutes.Only the International Criminal Court (ICC) is founded on prospectiveStatute.

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