The scheduled deposition of a defence witness (DW-1) for accused Jamaat-e-Islami ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami, being tried for the 1971 war crimes charges, could not held due to his nonappearance before the International Crimes Tribunal-1 on Sunday.
As the three-member tribunal, headed by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir, began its session, defence counsel Tajul Islam prayed for adjournment on the ground that the DW is on his way to Dhaka and yet to reach the tribunal.
Allowing the defence plea, the tribunal asked the defence counsel to produce the DW-1 before it for deposition on Monday.
Earlier, the tribunal had granted detained Nizami four DWs out of 25 as proposed to make their depositions to defend the accused.
Meanwhile, the prosecution had brought 26 prosecution witnesses before the tribunal, including the investigation officer, to prove the charges against the Jamaat boss.
A former minister during the past BNP-Jamaat rule, Nizami is being tried on charges of involvement in murders and torture of unarmed people along with hatching conspiracy, planning, incitement and complicity to commit genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War in collaboration with the Pakistan occupation army.
Also the president of Islami Chhatra Sangha (ICS), the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami in 1971, Nizami faces 16 counts of charges based on 16 separate incidents of crimes against humanity, in which at least 600 unarmed people were killed and 31 women raped during the Liberation War.
On May 28, 2012, the tribunal indicted the Jamaat ameer for committing the 1971 crimes against humanity.
On June 29, 2010, Nizami was arrested in front of the National Press Club after a magistrate court in Dhaka issued warrant of arrest in connection with a criminal case over hurting religious sentiment of Muslims. Later, he was shown arrested in connection with the war crimes case.
Nizami fails to produce witness