Salauddin Quader ridiculed ICT judges, prosecutors during trial

A video footage showing death-row convict Salauddin Quader Chowdhury ridiculing the International Crimes Tribunal went viral in the social media, including Facebook.

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Published : 29 July 2015, 06:37 PM
Updated : 29 July 2015, 06:37 PM

This came days before the execution of the BNP leader at 12:55am on Sunday, November 22.

The footage shows the arrogant BNP leader saying in his all too familiar manner that there was never a dearth of witnesses.

“By the grace of Allah, there was no dearth of witnesses even during Moeen Uddin’s (former Army Chief Moeen Uddun Ahmed) regime.

“The War Crimes Tribunal of this government will also not be short of witnesses. God willing, there will be no dearth of witnesses in future either,” he said, casting aspersions on the fairness of the trial.

He is seen saying in the footage: “I was arrested on charges of goat and cattle lifting and made to sleep on two blankets for 20 months (in jail) under the Moeen Uddin regime.”

Gen Moeen commanded a lot of authority during the army-backed caretaker government, led by Fakhruddin Ahmed, which ruled the country for two years from Jan 11, 2007.

​Chowdhury said, “If you are talking about evidence, then let me say… and I hope you won’t be hurt. Who testified against my prime minister, my Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, on corruption charges? (Awami League leaders) Sheikh Selim, Abul Jalil.”

Chowdhury, a habitual slanderer, had jabbed the ICT judges and prosecutors even in the courtroom.

After the ICT condemned him to death on Oct 1, 2013, he was seen taunting the judges with derogatory remarks.

The BNP leader was the defence witness No. 1 in his trial for war crimes.

The court commented on his behaviour in the observation part of the verdict.

It said it was a matter of convention for everyone present in court to stand as judges left. “But the accused would keep sitting on the chair. He would seldom stand up.”

Despite knowing full-well that the tribunal had been constituted with the Supreme Court judges, Chowdhury would address them as ‘Mr Chairman’ and ‘Mr Member’.

Although he was a lawmaker, his attitude towards the judiciary was disparaging, the verdict noted.

Chowdhury had repeatedly interrupted the judges when they were delivering a verdict and, at one point, even asked them to stop reading it.

He had kept talking through the court proceedings, often loudly and sometimes in hushed tones, all the while making fun of the judges pronouncing his death sentence.

The ICT awarded him the death penalty on four war crimes charges including genocide, murder and torture.

Chowdhury began his political career following in his father’s footsteps, Muslim League leader Fazlul Quader Chowdhury.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher