SQ Chowdhury himself defends his case

Detained war crimes accused Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, MP on Monday appeared in the witness box from the dock to defend his case as the first defence witness (DW-1).On June 13, after closing the cross-examination of investigator ASP Nurul Islam as prosecution witness (PW-41)  by the defence counsel, the International Crimes Tribunal-1 allowed the BNP stalwart to defend his case with only five  DWs, including himself, guillotining the DWs list of  1153.
Before the DW-1 making his statement, the tribunal reminded him repeatedly that he must be confined to the parameter of his case.
The tribunal said, “During the testimony, you’ll have to defend your point of alibi as you claim you were not in occupied Bangladesh when the atrocities were committed during the 1971 Liberation War, and the war crimes charges brought against you have been made only in a bid to harass you politically.”
But during the deposition before the tribunal, Salauddin Quader Chowdhury made a long statement in details on his illustrious family background.
Referring to the formal charge framed against him by the tribunal, the DW termed it a formal proposition.
Salauddin Quader was very critical of the introductory paragraph in the formal charge that states the two-nation theory is the primary cause of all communal strife in Bangladesh.
The prosecution side raised objection saying there is no relevance between the statement of the DW and the historical aspect in the formal charge.
The prosecution further said the tribunal will have to consider the impugned matter in line with the relevant section of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973, as there is no match between today’s statement and the 18 documents submitted to the tribunal earlier which the defence intends to rely upon in support of discredit the charges.
The tribunal was apparently seen turning a deaf ear to the prosecution objections.
The testimony of the DW-1 remains inconclusive.
Before making his deposition as a DW, Salauddin Quader read out the oath from the witness box which also raised objection from the prosecution side, as the ICT Act bars any accused from taking oath.
As a result, the DW later withdrew his oath as asked by the tribunal allowing the prosecution plea.
Salauddin Quader Chowdhury faces trial on 23 counts of charges under different provisions of section 3 (2) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973, including genocide in collaboration with Pakistan occupation army, killing, extermination of Hindu minority groups, deportation, persecution and abduction in Chittagong district. .(Source: UNB)

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