8 December 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Contempt Proceedings against The Economist magazine and Human Rights Watch; Mobarak Hossain, Defense Case-in-Chief; ATM Azharul Islam, Pre-Trial hearing on charge framing order

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Mobarak Hossain
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Human Rights Watch
  3. Chief Prosecutor vs. Adam Roberts and Others (The Economist)
  4. Chief Prosecutor vs. ATM Azharul Islam  

Contempt Proceedings Against Human Rights Watch

On 2 September 2013, the Tribunal issued a notice to Human Rights Watch Board of Directors, Executive Directors of Asia Division, Brad Adams, and Associate of Asian Division, Storm Tiv, asking them to submit an explanation within three weeks as to why contempt proceedings should not be brought against them for the publication of an article about the Gholam Azam case, entitled ‘Bangladesh: Azam Conviction Based on Flawed Proceedings: Analysis Outlines how Fair Trial, Rights of Accused Seriously Compromised.’

Today, 8 December 2013, had been set for submissions of the reply. However, Md Asaduzzaman appeared on behalf of Human Rights Watch and informed the Tribunal that, although they had already submitted the vokalotnama (power of Attorney) he did not receive the relevant documents from the Prosecution until today.  Accordingly, Counsel sought adjournment for 8 weeks. The Tribunal granted the request in pat, but set the date to reconvene the proceedings on 7 January 2014.

Contempt Proceedings Against The Economist

In the contempt proceedings against Economist, today was set for passing order on show cause notice. However, the Tribunal elected to delay until 29 December 2013.

Mobarak Hossain

In the case of Mobarak Hossain, today was set for recording the testimony of the Defense Witness 1. However the senior Defense Counsel for Mobarak Hossain was absent, and junior Defense Counsel sought adjournment for one day. The Tribunal  granted the request, and adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow, 9 December 2013.

ATM Azharul Islam

In the case of ATM Azharul Islam, today was set to hear a petition filed by Defense to review the charge framing order, as well as a petition filed by the Prosecution to allow three Prosecution witnesses to testify in camera. However, the senior Defense Counsel Abdur Razzak, who was supposed to make submission on behalf of the Defense, was again not present at the Tribunal.  Once again, junior Defense Counsel sought adjournment for two days, citing “personal difficulties.”  The Judges of ICT-1 granted the petition for adjournment, but noted that they had allowed adjournments three times already.  They warned Defense Counsel that this would be the last time they would allow the adjournment for hearing on these petitions.

The Tribunal set 10 December 2013 for hearing on these petitions.