Censuring the prosecution for appearing without adequate homework, the International Crimes Tribunal-2 on Wednesday adjourned the proceedings halfway through the trial of war crimes accused Maulana AKM Yusuf, senior nayeb-e-ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami.
“It appears you (prosecutor) are not prepared for examining your witness for testifying against accused Maulana AKM Yusuf,” said the tribunal, interrupting designated prosecutor Zahid Imam, while examining PW-20 Ijab Uddin Mian, assistant librarian at Bangla Academy.
It will be of no use for the prosecution the way the seized documentary evidence collected from the Bangla Academy are being placed without scrutiny through the PW implicating the accused about his offence committed during the 1971 Liberation War, the tribunal observed.
“You’re not able to justify your claim as you‘re not at all prepared,” said the tribunal, adding, what will be the use of the document on formation of the Central Peace Committee (junta collaborator) in Dhaka in 1971? Accused Maulana Yusuf had no connection with it,” the tribunal added.
“This is not fair. You got enough time for preparation,” said the tribunal, reminding the prosecution that they are getting money from the public exchequer, but killing valuable time of the tribunal pushing the trial into postponement.
The tribunal was so annoyed that at one stage it asked the designated defence counsel Mizanul Islam whether the tribunal would pass order asking the prosecution to pay cost for the day.
In response, the defence counsel replied in the negative saying it would be a bad precedence.
Though apparently disappointed, the three-member tribunal, headed by Justice Obaidul Hassan, adjourned the proceedings for January 19 (Sunday) as prayed by the prosecution.
Earlier, the tribunal had allowed two defence pleas exempting detained Yusuf, now 88, from appearing in the tribunal during trial due to geriatric complications and browsing of the investigation report, excluding the prosecution statements in connection with the case, kept at the registrar’s office.
On August 1 last year, the tribunal indicted Yusuf, senior nayeb-e-ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami, for his involvement in crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
The tribunal considered 13 out of 15 charges of crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War as proposed by the prosecution on May 8 last year which fall under sections 3(2), 4 (1) and 4 (2) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973.
Founder of the notorious Razakar outfit during the 1971 Liberation War, Yusuf, also the second man in the hierarchy of Jamaat leadership, faces charges, including genocide, killing, loot, arson, deportation of people and religious conversion.
According to the prosecution, Jamaat leader Yusuf, a member of the infamous Malek cabinet in occupied Bangladesh, a rubberstamp government backed by the Pakistan junta, had formed for the first time in Khulna in 1971 the vigilante group Razakar with the members of Jamaat-e-Islami that acted as an auxiliary force of the Pakistan occupation army to actively thwart the Bangladesh liberation forces.
Yusuf had also acted as the chairman of the Peace Committee (Collaborator) at Bagerhat, Satkhira and Khulna districts during the Liberation War.
Yusuf Trial ICT has to adjourn proceedings halfway