Monday, January 21, 2019 | ePaper

Allegations of daring corruption against Tureen in prosecution

She is now safely in London

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Sagar Biswas :
The chief prosecutor's office of International Crimes Tribunal [ICT] requested the Law Ministry on May 9 to launch a probe against prosecutor Barrister Tureen Afroz over an alleged meeting with an accused of crimes against humanity during Liberation War. The progress of the investigation is yet to be known.
Even, the police did not arrest or pick up the accused prosecutor for interrogation till the date though they have got enough evidences, including two audio tapes, relating to the allegation. According to information provided by ICT's Senior Coordinator Sanaul Haque, Tureen Afroze and war crimes accused Oahidul Haque, former Acting Director General of National Security Intelligence [NSI], met secretly at Olive Restaurant in the city's Gulshan on November 19.
Tureen phoned Oahidul Haque on November 18 last year and expressed her eagerness to hold a meeting. Next day, they sat in a meeting at the said restaurant where Tureen's assistant Farabi and Oahidul's wife and another was present.
The former NSI DG, a professional intelligence officer, recorded the conversation with Tureen on November 18 and 19 respectively on his cellular phone. The phone was later seized by Gulshan police. In the telephonic conversation, Tureen told Ohaidul that she will go there wearing a 'burqa' apparently to conceal her identity. Besides, Farabi will be there as Tureen's husband.
The audio conversations-- one was for four minutes and another nearly 3 hours went viral on different social media including facebook soon after the allegation against the ICT prosecutor surfaced.
During the meeting, Tureen handed over one full set of case documents to Oahidul. At that time, assistant Farabi repeatedly inquired about his financial condition. "You were in many important government posts…. So, you must have enough money."  In reply Oahidul assured them that as a former NSI DG Tk 20/25 crore is not a big deal for him.
On April 25, the ICT-1 sent Oahidul to jail in a case filed for committing crimes during the Liberation War. But it was a big surprise for Oahidul when law enforcement agency members went to his residence for arrest. Being shocked, Oahidul asked the police: "Why you have come to arrest me when I've already fixed the matter with the ICT prosecutor?" Then, the police came to know about secret understanding between Tureen and Oahidul. Everything was cleared when police got the cellular phone of Oahidul.  
There are three important things taken under active consideration of the investigation team --number one: no prosecutor can meet an accused in disguise, number two: it is totally unlawful to handover the documents of any case, and number three: a prosecutor cannot discuss merit of the case with an accused.
No doubt, the ICT prosecutor has committed big offence. An accused can only get the copy of a case documents if the court orders, otherwise not.  In no way the prosecutor could discuss the case secretly with the accused.  
ICT Senior Coordinator Sanaul Haq categorically said Tureen was not an investigator of the case [of Oahidul]. The main investigating Officer was Deputy Director Motiur Rahman. "Tureen did not inform the Chief Prosecutor about the secret meeting with Oahidul. It was completely illegal.
If the allegation against the prosecutor is proved, it will put the ICT activities under huge controversy. Not only that, it would again bring forward the alleged political control and corruption in the judicial procedure in Bangladesh.
A number of international rights organizations and governments earlier had expressed doubt over the credibility, standard and procedure of the ICT. They also vehemently protested the execution of war criminals too.
It is worth mentioning that former ICT Chief Nizamul Huq was forced to resign in 2013 following allegations that he had inappropriately consulted a Brussels-based attorney unaffiliated with the tribunal through Skype.  It was also alleged that he had prematurely determined Delwar Hossain Sayedee's guilt before hearing the defense's arguments. The tribunal thereafter banned all public discussion of the cases.
Sources said Tureen is not in the country, she is now staying in London.
As per law, the government appoints the ICT prosecutor. With the latest scandal of Tureen all trials and verdicts of ICT could be treated as wrong and breach of judicial integrity. That means the government's initiatives in this regard will also be controversial.  
The common people would lose faith in the ICT and its prosecutors if such unlawful activities are not controlled in strong hand. Nobody has right to make the judicial system corrupt and controversial.

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