Closing law-point arguments from both sides in the trial of the 1971 war crimes allegedly committed by absconding Al Badr operators Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan, the International Crimes Tribunal -2 on Monday kept the verdict pending for any day.
Declaring the law-point arguments closed, Justice Obaidul Hassan, the chairman of the three-member tribunal, pronounced a Latin legal term, “We’re keeping the case as a CAV.”
CAV (curia advisari vult) means the court reserves time for delivering judgment after hearing lawyers’ submissions.
On June 24, the tribunal indicted Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan in absentia for their involvement in crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
Before framing charges against the duo fugitive accused, the tribunal considered 11 charges trimming the remaining four offences as brought by the prosecution which fall under subsections 3(2) (a) (b) (g) (h) and 4 (1) and 4(2) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973.
The charges include abduction, confinement, persecution, killing and murder of intellectuals of the country at the fag end of the Liberation War.
According to the prosecution case, Mueen and Ashraf, the duo operators of Al Badr, a vigilante group of Jamaat-e-Islami created from its the then student wing Islami Chhatra Sangha (ICS), had perpetrated the war crimes in a bid to eliminate the pro-liberation, innocent and unarmed people of occupied Bangladesh. They had also hatched a conspiracy in collaboration with the Pakistan junta to eliminate the intellectuals before the birth of a new nation.
Since Bangladesh’s independence, war crimes accused Mueen Uddin has been living in London while Ashrfuzzaman in the USA, according to the prosecution.
This is the second war crimes case in which the trial has been conducted in absentia, as the tribunal’s attempts to have the accused in the dock had failed.
Earlier, the tribunal-2 had sentenced fugitive Jamaat-e-Islami member (expelled) Abul Kalam Azad, also known as Bachchu Razakar, to death penalty.
Advocate Shahidur Rahman appeared for the prosecution while Abdus Shukur Khan and Salma Hye Tuni stood for the fugitive accused as state defence counsel.
War Crimes Trial Verdict on Mueen, Ashraf any day