Nizami trial: "My father is innocent," son tells tribunal

Nizami trial: “My father is innocent,” son tells tribunal


Claiming his war crimes accused father as innocent, Barrister Nazibur Rahman on Thursday said the charges brought against Jamaat-e-Islami ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami was absolutely false and politically motivated, terming the case ‘make over’.

He came up with the view defending his father while appearing in the International Crimes Tribunal-1 as the last witness (DW-4). In support of his contention, 32-year-old Barrister Nazibur told the three-member tribunal, headed by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir, that immediately after the independence of Bangladesh no such allegation was filed against Nizami until contesting as a Jamaat-e-Islami candidate in the 1986 national election. “Such a blame game was initiated after Nizami’s public appearance as a promising leader of Islamic movement through participating in the ‘86 election,” he said. The DW-4 further said: “Had my father not been ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami, no case afresh would have been brought against him after 42 years of the country’s independence.” He (Nizami) is being brought to justice as the Jamaat chief remains a factor in Bangladesh politics at present and in future as well, he claimed. Referring to his individual investigation on his father’s role in 1971 and the papers, books and public documents in connection with the Liberation War, Barrister Nazibur said that apart from criminal cases, over one lakh cases had been filed with the police stations under the Collaborators Act after the independence in connection with the crimes committed in 1971. “But after a meticulous scrutiny I didn’t find my father’s name in the huge lists of the accused.” Referring to another official document, the DW-4 told the tribunal that the post-independence government had formed a countrywide committee with CO (dev) as convener and Thana Officer in-Charge as member secretary to prepare a list of Razakar, Al Badr, Al Shams and members of Peace Committee who had collaborated with the Pakistan occupation forces. “I’ve checked the official lists and found no name of Nizami listed as either Razakar or Al Badr,” he said. About the allegation against his father of killing pro-liberation intellectuals in 1971, Nazibur said over 42 cases had been filed, but none of the cases made Nizami responsible in the killing of intellectuals either overtly or covertly. “It appears that my father has become a victim of political vengeance and the case has been filed unethically under political influence,” he said, adding allegations are there that the prosecution had managed its witnesses for giving evidence against Nizami after alluring them with money and under duress. Referring to the wartime secret police intelligence report along with newspaper reports published during the 1971 Liberation War, Nazibur said his father (Nizami) was never introduced as head of 1971 Al Badr, a vigilante group of Jamaat-e-Islami. “Even I didn’t find the name of my father as Al Badr chief in the secret intelligence report maintained by the Bangladesh government in exile.” In support of his statement before the tribunal, the DW-4 started placing heaps of papers, books and documents. The tribunal adjourned the proceedings till October 27 (Sunday). A former minister during the past BNP-Jamaat rule, Nizami is being tried on charges of involvement in murders and torture of unarmed people along with hatching conspiracy, planning, incitement and complicity to commit genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War in collaboration with the Pakistan occupation army. Also the president of Islami Chhatra Sangha (ICS), the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami in 1971, Nizami faces 16 counts of charges based on 16 separate incidents of crimes against humanity, in which at least 600 unarmed people were killed and 31 women raped during the Liberation War. On May 28, 2012, the tribunal indicted the Jamaat ameer for committing the 1971 crimes against humanity. On June 29, 2010, Nizami was arrested in front of the National Press Club after a magistrate court in Dhaka issued warrant of arrest in connection with a criminal case over hurting religious sentiment of Muslims. Later, he was shown arrested in connection with the war crimes case. – UNB



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