Sayedee's Ill Health Adjourns Tribunal Hearing
Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Jamaat-e-Islami executive council member Delwar Hossain Sayedee, detained in jail following an arrest warrant issued by the International Crimes Tribunal, could not be brought to court on Tuesday as jail authorities said he was unwell.

The Tribunal chairman Md Nizamul Huq ruled that the court would therefore be adjourned until Aug 24.

Huq also ruled that all outstanding applications filed by the defence on behalf of Sayedee and Jamaat chief Matiur Rahman Nizami, secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, assistant secretary generals Mohammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Molla should all be heard together on that day.

The court started the hearing at 10.30am with tribunal judges Mohammed Nizamul Haque and ATM Fazle Kabir taking their seats.

However, justice AKM Zahir Ahmed was not present due to illness.

The tribunal continued proceedings until 10.50am and then adjourned the hearing for two weeks.

Earlier in the day, officials of Dhaka Central Jail told journalists that Sayedee would not be produced at the court as a result of his illness and that they would be lodging an application to the court to inform it of the matter once the proceedings start.ed

Prosecution panel chief Golam Arif Tipu, members Syed Rejaur Rahman, Syed Haider Ali, Ziad Al Malum, Abdur Rahman Hawlader and Altaf Hossain were present at the court.

After the adjournment, Tajul Islam, the lawyer for the defendent, told journalists that his client was not presented before the court as he was seriously ill. "We urged the court in our petitions not to hold the hearing in his absence. They agreed and granted the petitions." he said.

He confirmed that hearings of six petitions, filed on behalf of all the accused, with the tribunal will also be held on Aug 24.

On Aug 5, following the hearing of a petition to show Sayedee arrested on charges of crimes against humanity during 1971, the tribunal issued an arrest warrant against Sayedee and asked prison authorities to produce him before the court on Tuesday.

The petition urged that Sayedee be shown arrested for the sake of investigations of his 'crimes' that fall under section 3(2) of International Crimes Tribunal Act 1973 - the section that deals with crimes against humanity.

On July 26, the tribunal issued arrest warrants against Jamaat-e-Islami chief Matiur Rahman Nizami, secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, assistant secretary generals Mohammed Kamaruzzaman, and Abdul Quader Molla, for alleged crimes against humanity during 1971.

This followed an application by the prosecutor that claimed that as the accused were being detained in other cases and not for alleged war crimes "there are possibilities that they could get bail and flee abroad. So, the four should be shown arrested in this case."

On that day the court ordered the prison authority to present the accused before court on Aug 2.

On Aug 2, Matiur Rahman Nizami, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, Mohammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Molla were brought to the tribunal.

The tribunal ordered that they be kept in police custody till the next order.

Nizami, Mojaheed, Kamaruzzaman and Quader had been earlier remanded in different cases.

On Mar 25, the Awami League-led government established a war crimes tribunal, prosecutors' panel and investigation agency allowing the long awaited trial of war criminals to take place.


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