Tuesday, 21 December 2010

SQ Chowdhury shown detained following ICT arrest warrant

BLHouse Report

Detained BNP standing committee member Salauddin Quader Chowdhury was shown arrested following an arrest warrant issued by the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) yesterday (December 19).

ICT yesterday issued the warrant of arrest against Salauddin Quader Chowdhury in a case filed on charge of committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.

The Tribunal also issued a 'production warrant' directing the authorities to produce SQ Chowdhury before it on December 30, 2010 following two petitions.

The investigation agency filed a petition on Wednesday seeking Tribunals' arrest warrant against Chowdhury. Hearing on the petition was scheduled for hearing on Sunday.

Meanwhile, police arrested SQ Chowdhury from a city home on December 16 involving in a case of burning a car and killing the car's driver on June 26 at Magbazar in the city. He is now in police remand.

After his arrest, the investigation agency filed a supplementary petition with ICT seeking its issuance of a 'production warrant' against Chowdhury.

After hearing on the two petitions, the three-member Tribunal comprising its Chairman Justice Md Nizamul Huq and its two members Justices ATM Fazle Kabir and AKM Zaheer Ahmed passed the orders.

For delivering the orders, the Tribunal mentioned some reasons that include the interviews given by SQ Chowdhury in print and electronic media created unhealthy atmosphere in the mind of witnesses, who have already given statements against him.

Chief Prosecutor Golam Arif Tipu during the hearing sought the court's direction to keep SQ Chowdhury in custody saying that the lives of the witnesses, who brought allegations against Chowdhury, are under threats and the probe is going on against him might be obstructed, if he remains free.

Tipu after the orders told the reporters that the Tribunal put Chowdhury on detention through issuing the 'arrest warrant' so that he cannot be freed in any way.

SQ Chowdhury's lawyer Barrister Fakhrul Islam could not get the Tribunal's permission to place his submissions before it. Rather the Tribunal asked him to place his petitions through the ICT Registrar.

Fakhrul Islam later alleged to the journalists that ICT Registrar had asked them to place two petitions directly to the Judges when his junior lawyer submitted the two matters to him (Registrar) yesterday morning.

The two petitions are likely to be heard on December 30, Fakhrul said.

One the petitions stated that according to Article 94 (3) of the Constitution, "The Chief Justice, and the Judges appointed to the Appellate Division, shall sit only in that division, and the other Judges shall sit only in the High Court Division."

So, the two Tribunal judges, who were appointed from the HC Division, can sit only at the HC Division not any other court, the petition stated. "Appointments of the two judges are against the Constitution."

However, after the Tribunal's orders, Golam Arif Tipu told reporters said, "SQ Chowdhury's attitudes and manners expressed his superiority over all persons but actually he is not like that."

"A probe of crimes mentioned at the Section 3 (2) of the ICT Act, 1973 against Chowdhury is going on and some witnesses have already given their statements against him," the Chief Prosecutor said.

"In the meantime, interviews, comments and behaviours of SQ Chowdhury made lives of the witnesses under threats," he said.

Tipu said the running probe against SQ Chowdhury found till now that, "Chowdhury snatching a gun from a Pakistani soldier killed Nutan Chandra Singh, founder of 'Kundeshwari Oushadhalaya' during the Liberation War. Nutan's son Profulla Chandra and others witnessed the incident and have already disclosed."

Chowdhury also killed 38 persons at Jagatmallopara and 69 persons at Unosattorpara of the port city, he said.

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