ICT ruling for Amar Desh officials likely Tuesday

Dhaka, Dec 10 (bdnewsw24.com) — The first war crimes tribunal is expected to rule on Tuesday on a petition by Prosecutor Syed Haider Ali to summon Daily Amar Desh officials and ask for an explanation.

The BNP-leaning Bengali daily has been printing what it claimed to be private Skype conversation between the first war crimes tribunal chairman and a Brussels-based academic.

The tribunal chief, Justice Mohammad Nizamul Huq, had received a phone call from The Economist last Wednesday evening (Dec 5) saying that it was in possession of hundreds of emails and hours of conversation that the judge reportedly had with Ahmed Ziauddin, an expert in international law.

The tribunal directed the UK-based periodical to keep those conversations and emails secret since they are private correspondence.

The order also asked The Economist Chief Editor and its South Asia Bureau Chief to explain their position for having interfered with the trial proceedings.

However, Amar Desh, a Bengali broadsheet headed by a former energy advisor of the 2001-06 BNP government, published four full pages of reported conversation between Justice Huq and Ziauddin.

They printed another page of their conversation on Monday.

The two men, old acquaintances since when they were young rights campaigners, had spoken candidly regarding a number of things and shared their opinion about a number of individuals.

According to the tribunal’s order, the International Crimes Tribunal – 1 Chairman seeks advice from the expat academic who works as a researcher for him and helps him with different materials.

Syed Haider Ali said the publication merely intended to debase the court and was ill-motivated. He said that the exposé was unwarranted. “You are institutions as individuals and also as a panel. This reporting is only tainting that institution.”

He said that further publication of the material — sensitive and embarrassing as it is — was not just an attack on the tribunal’s dignity but also on that of the judiciary as a whole.

He said that the entire institution was being ridiculed. The Prosecutor stressed the publication of private conversation had one and only one intention which was to obstruct the proceedings.

“I can prove why this is illegal and unwarranted.”

The Prosecutor sought that the tribunal summon the officials of Amar Desh and ask for their explanation.

Initially, the court had said it would give an order regarding the matter after lunch, but after lunch, the tribunal Chairman said he would give the order on Tuesday.

Source: Bd News24

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