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ATM Azharul Trial Tribunal asks legal interpretation on 3 pts

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Court correspondent
The International Crimes Tribunal-1 on Monday asked the prosecution counsel to satisfy it with legal points as to how a local civilian war crimes accused had exerted superior command responsibility in the commission of the offence of crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971.
 The three-member tribunal, headed by Justice M Enayetur Rahim, also asked the prosecution to explain whether war crimes accused ATM Azharul Islam as a local ‘Al Badr commander’ in Rangpur had the authority over the Pakistan occupation army during the Liberation War.
And the tribunal further asked the prosecution to make clear as to how an auxiliary force like Razakar, Al Badr and Al Shams had established its command over the regular armed forces of Pakistan during Bangladesh’s Liberation War.
The tribunal’s queries came during the prosecution case summing-up arguments on superior command responsibility by designated prosecutor Barrister Tapas K Baul.
Tapas who was on his legs jotting down the tribunal’s queries sought time for homework in this regard and the tribunal allowed his oral plea.
Earlier, prosecutor Tapas had completed his summing-up arguments charge-wise with legal points on Joint Criminal Enterprise and Superior Command responsibility in collaboration with the Pakistan occupation army over the charges of 1971 crimes against humanity made against detained accused Azharul.
The prosecutor claimed that the prosecution has been able to prove all the six charges made against accused Azharul beyond any shadow of doubts and the accused should be awarded capital punishment considering the gravity of the crimes.
On November 12, 2013, the tribunal framed charges against ATM Azharul Islam for his involvement in crimes against humanity, including genocide, during the Liberation War in collaboration with the Pakistan occupation army, dismissing his discharge plea.
Also assistant secretary general of Jamaat-e-Islami, Azharul faces six counts of charges of crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War like killing, abduction, confinement, torture, loot, arson, rape and genocide in Rangpur district.
A week after submitting the formal charge by the prosecution, the tribunal on July 25, 2013 took cognizance of the charge against Azharul as it found a strong prima facie case against the accused under subsections 3(2) and 4(1) (2) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973.
According to the prosecution case, Azharul had been involved in the killing of more than 1,200 unarmed innocent civilians in Rangpur during the Liberation War in collaboration with the Pakistan occupation army.
It mentioned that Azharul Islam had played a key role in the killing of intellectuals, cultural personalities, physicians and lawyers in different areas of Rangpur during the 1971 war.
On August 22, 2012, police arrested Azharul from his Moghbazar house in the capital in connection with the war crimes case, after the tribunal issued a warrant for his arrest upon a prosecution plea.