1971 KILLING OF INTELLECTUALS: Mueen supported Pakistan’s unity, not occupation army’s atrocities: Defence

Staff Correspondent

Absconding war crimes accused Chowdhury Mueenuddin was not involved with the Al-Badr Bahini nor did he commit the offences as accused, during the Liberation War, his defence lawyer provided by the state said Sunday.
Commencing her closing arguments at the International Crimes Tribunal-2 defence lawyer Salma Hai Tuni submitted that the prosecution could not produce any document in support of its accusation that Mueen was involved in any anti-liberation activity.
Mueen is on trial in absentia on 11 counts of crimes against humanity.
He faces the charges of abducting and killing intellectuals in Dhaka at the fag end of the Liberation War.
Mueen, employed as a staff reporter of the Dainik Purbadesh in 1971, was busy from dawn to dusk in gathering and writing reports, submitted Salma.
Referring to her client’s recent interview by BBC and Al-Jajeera channels, the defence lawyer submitted that Mueen was ideologically a supporter of the Islami Chhatra Sangha but not its leader or member.
She said, the prosecution failed to show any document to prove that Mueen was a member or in the high command of Al-Badr Bahini during the Liberation War.
She argued that her client was a supporter of unity of Pakistan but he never supported the atrocities committed by Pakistan occupation army.
Salma said that the intellectuals were abducted and killed according to plans of Pakistani High Command to eliminate intellectuals of the country and her client was not involved in any such activities.
She said that the prosecution claimed that her client as a resident student of Mohsin Hall of Dhaka University but the documents produced by them say that he was a non-resident student of the hall.
Later, concentrating on the factual aspects of the charges against her client she sought to discredit the prosecution witnesses.
The defence lawyer said that the prosecution witnesses testified in the tribunal on the basis of ‘assumption based reports’ published by Dainik Purbadesh just after liberation.
The Dainik Purbadesh where Mueen was a staff reporter, just after the Liberation war, published the photos of Mueen and Md Ashrafuzzaman Khan accompanied with a report asking the people to catch Mueen and Ashraf.
The report described the duo as Al-Badr Bahini bosses and killers of the intellectuals.
The prosecution alleged that Mueen, as Islami Chattra Sangha leader and operation-in-charge of the Al-Badr Bahini, was involved in abduction and killings of the intellectuals.
She resumes her arguments today.

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