Hearsay statements legally acceptable
Hearsay statements of witnesses are legally acceptable in the cases filed for crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War in 1971, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told the Supreme Court yesterday.
He was placing arguments on the 11th day of hearing of convicted Jamaat-e-Islami leader Quader Mollah's appeal seeking acquittal in the case. The Appellate Division fixed today for further hearing.
The attorney general yesterday replied to some questions raised by Quader Mollah's lawyer Abdur Razzaq during his (Razzaq's) arguments before the apex court.
Razzaq had earlier said hearsay statements of witnesses were not acceptable if those are not corroborated by other relevant evidence. He also said the hearsay statements of prosecution witnesses Syed Shahidul Haque Mama, Syed Abdul Kaiyum and poet Kazi Rosy regarding involvement of Quader Mollah in killing Pallab and Meherunnesa in 1971 were contradictory.
Mahbubey Alam replied that the three prosecution witnesses had given natural statements before the International Crimes Tribunal-2 and their statements were true.
They could have made fabricated statements before the tribunal, but they did not do so, he argued.
The top state lawyer also said the defence's claim that the main objective of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973 was to try 195 Pakistani soldiers who were prisoners of war was not correct.
To establish this argument, Mahbubey Alam read out from a written statement of parliament's proceedings before passing the bill on the ICT Act and from the preamble of the republic's constitution.
The ICT-2 on February 5 awarded life term imprisonment to Mollah for committing crimes against humanity during the war after finding him guilty in five charges.