Ghulam Azam verdict any day

The International Crimes Tribunal-1 on Wednesday kept pending its verdict to be delivered any day after formally closing law-point arguments from both sides in the trial of the war crimes allegedly perpetrated by detained Jamaat-e-Islami ameer (retired) Ghulam Azam.Closing the arguments, tribunal chairman Justice ATM Fazle Kabir, flanked by its two other members Justice Jahangir Hossain and Justice Anwarul Haque, pronounced a Latin legal term saying, “We’re keeping the case as a CAV.”
CAV (curia advisari vult) means the court reserves time for delivering judgment after hearing lawyers’ submissions.
Prosecution lawyers Barrister Tureen Afroz, Syed Haider Ali and Sultan Mahmud Simon on Tuesday presented their replies to the defence law-point arguments in phases. Defence counsel Barrister Imran Siddiq also allowed making some clarifications over the prosecution law-point arguments in the Ghulam Azam case.
On May 13 last year, the tribunal indicted self-confessed Pakistan collaborator (exonerated) Ghulam Azam for his involvement in crimes against humanity during the Liberation War.
The charges against him include involvement in murder and torture of unarmed people, conspiracy, planning, incitement and complicity to commit genocide and crimes against humanity during the war in collaboration with Pakistani junta and its auxiliary forces like Razakar, peace committees, Al Badr and Al Shams.
Before framing charges against the accused, the tribunal had considered the five charges under 61 counts of crimes against humanity as proposed by the prosecution which fall under section 3 (2) and 4 (2) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973.
A total of 17 prosecution witnesses, including the investigation officer, testified against Ghulam Azam while son of the accused, Brig Gen (dismissed) Abdullahil Amaan Azmi, was the only defence witness for him.
On January 11 last year, nonagenarian ex-Jamaat ameer Ghulam Azam appearing in the dock on court’s order was sent to Dhaka Central Jail after the tribunal rejected his bail prayer. The same day, he was taken to the prison cell at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital (BSMMUH) for medical check-up and since then, he has been locked there.
The prosecutors pleaded for awarding capital punishment to Ghulam Azam, identifying the accused as the mastermind of ’71 genocide in occupied Bangladesh, for perpetrating the crimes against humanity in collaboration with the Pakistani junta during the 1971 Liberation War.
On the other hand, the defence counsel refuting the allegations terming vague and not specific the charges brought against Ghulam Azam pleaded for his acquittal.
The accused Jamaat leader was not present at the tribunal on Wednesday.
Earlier, considering his geriatric complications, the tribunal had allowed the accused to be present during the trial proceedings as and when he thinks fit to travel from the prison cell. UNB

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