Ghulam Azam, a retired politician in his 90s, is being tried on charges of crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
On May 13 last year, the International Crimes Tribunal-1 indicted the self- confessed Pakistan collaborator (exonerated) for his alleged involvement in crimes against humanity during the Liberation War.
The charges include conspiracy, planning, incitement, complicity and murder that fall under section 3 (2) and its sub-sections of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973.
According to the allegations, then Jamaat supremo had boastfully opposed Bangladesh’s Liberation War and sided with the Pakistan junta that had perpetrated killings, genocide, loot, rape and arson in collaboration with its auxiliary forces like razakar, peace committee, Al Badr and Al Shams, also the vigilante groups of Jamaat-e-Islami.
As the defence counsel repeatedly failed to comply with the tribunal’s order in bringing their defence witness for recording testimony, the tribunal on February 14 applied section 10 (i) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973 empowering it to go for arguments by the prosecution for unimpeded functioning of the trial proceedings in the interest of justice.
According to the section 10 (i) of the ICT Act 1973, the prosecution shall first sum up its case with law-point arguments and therefore the defence shall get the equal right to sum up its case. The prosecution, however, shall enjoy the right to reply to encounter the defence if he thinks fit.
After closing the law-point arguments from both side lawyers, the tribunal shall deliver its judgment and pronounce its verdict in open court.
The breakdown of the defence counsel evicted them from providing testimony of eleven listed DWs before the tribunal, while the prosecution produced 16 witnesses in connection with the case to prove the charges made against Ghulam Azam.
Earlier, the defence counsel had faced similar setback but overcome it through justifying reasonable grounds for nonappearance of their defence witness No-1 Brig Gen (dismissed) Abdullahil Azmi, son of the accused.
On October 9 last year, the tribunal guillotining on the list of 2939 DWs, including foreign nationals, for Ghulam Azam submitted by the defence counsel, allowed only a dozen in order to save time.