Tribunal 1 heard arguments in the matters of Chief Prosecutor vs. Professor Golam Azam and Chief Prosecutor vs. Delwar Hossain Sayedee. For a more detailed outline of the arguments see here (Golam Azam) and here (Sayedee).
Chief Defense Counsel Abdur Razzaq completed his arguments for re-trial of the Golam Azam case. He focused on the admissibility of the skype and email conversations that took place between the former Chairman, Nizamul Hoque, and Ahmed Ziauddin, a Brussels based lawyer of Bangladeshi origin who has worked closely with the prosecution on the trials. These skype conversations and emails, as reported by local and international media sources, are the basis for the Defense’s accusation that the trial has been biased due to collusion between the former chairman, the prosecution and outside parties. Abdur Razzaq’s argument today focused on the necessity of compromising the right to privacy where the information is of great value to the public interest.
Mizanul Islam, Defense Counsel of Delwar Hossain Sayedee, presented arguments for re-trial before adjourning the case until December 30. Mizanul Islam argued that Sayedee’s case has been prejudiced by the former chairman’s conduct. Mizanul Islam requested the Tribunal to talk with the former Judge Zaheer Ahmed, who resigned on August 28, 2012 reportedly due to health concerns, regarding the origin of the charge framing order, alleging that the document was not in fact created by the tribunal but depended on the outside assistance of Mr. Ziauddin. He also requested the Tribunal to listen the alleged skype conversations in the absence of the media.
Additional Notes Regarding Proceedings 27 December 2012
Abdur Razzaq requested permission from the court to talk with his client Sayedee. The Tribunal granted him 5 minutes of communication which took place in the courtroom.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam was present at the Tribunal from the beginning to the end of the hearing. After lunch break Sayedee was feeling sick and left the Tribunal with Tribunal’s permission.
While Mizanul Islam was placing his arguments before the Tribunal, Attorney General prayed before the Tribunal to take measures under section 11(3) of the ICT Act 1973
There was palpable tension in the courtroom during Mizanul Islam’s arguments on behalf of Professor Golam Azam. Prosecutor Sayed Haider Ali sometimes became angry hearing the arguments mentioning his name. Prosecutors were vocally expressing their own views regarding the arguments made by the Defense. The Attorney General was trying to keep them calm and quiet. After the proceedings, the Attorney General requested that Defense Counsel make their submissions in such a way that all present can enjoy the arguments and noted his appreciation for the decorum exercised by Abdur Razzaq. In reply Mizanul Islam said arguments are not for enjoyment.
The Tribunal requested that Attorney General Mahbubey Alam, who is expected to reply on behalf of the prosecution, to give reply after hearing all of the three re-trial applications.