Category Archives: contempt proceedings

11 November 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Hartal Coverage of Motiur Rahman Nizami; Contempt proceedings against Fakhrul Islam, Defense Counsel for Salauddin Qader Chowdhury

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury

Today was set for the submission of the Defense closing arguments. However, due to another hartal, the senior Defense Counsels who were supposed to make the Defense submissions were absent at the Tribunal. Junior Defense Counsel once again submitted an application seeking adjournment on the grounds of “personal difficulties.” The Tribunal agreed to adjourn the proceedings once again until, 12 November 2013.

In the contempt proceedings against Fakhrul Islam, Defense Counsel of Salauddin Qader Chowdhury, today was set for his appearance. However, Fakhrul Islam was not present at the Tribunal, and his junior appeared on his behalf, seeking adjournment for two months. The Tribunal agreed to adjourn the proceedings of the case until 26 November 2013.

6 November 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary –Motiur Rahman Nizami, Closing Statements; Channel 24 and others, Contempt Proceedings

Despite being the final day of a 60-hour nationwide Hartal, ICT-1 convened to hear matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Channel 24 and others

Contempt Proceedings Against Channel 24

On 26 September 2013, the Tribunal issued an Order to the following individuals and organizations: Managing Director of Channel 24, Chief Executive Officer of Channel 24, Executive Director of Channel 24, Head of Program of Channel 24, Episode Producer of Muktobaak, broadcasted on 18 September 2013 at 11 am, Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Anchor Muktoback, Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury, Trustee of Gonosastho Kendra and Mahfuz Ullah, and the General Secretary of the Center for Sustainable Development.  The Order directed them to reply before 10 October, explaining why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them. The order further asked Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury and Mahfuz Ullah personally appear before the Tribunal to explain their position, and asked Channel 24 not to re-broadcast the episode of the talk-show in question in the Order. The Tribunal  accused the guests on the show of improperly discussing a matted subjudice (under legal consideration by the Tribunal), without knowing all the facts.  In so doing, the Tribunal alleged, Channel 24 and the guests could be held in contempt for deliberately calling the trial proceedings into question. Today was fixed for further proceedings of the case, but the lawyer representing Mahfuz Ullah sought additional time to submit a reply to the show-cause notice. Md Asaduzzam appeared on behalf of Channel 24. Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury appeared personally before the Tribunal and submitted a written reply of the notice. Thereafter, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until 28 November 2013.

Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami

In the case against Motiur Rahman Nizami, the Prosecution continued closing arguments for the fourth day. The Prosecution’s submissions today covered Charge no 11, 12, 13 and 14. Thereafter, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow, 7 November 2013.

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4 November 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary –Motiur Rahman Nizami, Closing Statements; The Economist Magazine and Human Rights Watch, Contempt Proceedings

Despite a 60-hour nationwide Hartal that kept ICT-2 out of session today, ICT-1 proceeded to hear matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. The Economist Magazine
  3.  Chief Prosecutor vs. Human Rights Watch                                               

Contempt Proceedings Against Human Rights Watch

Today, Md Assaduzzaman appeared on behalf of Human Rights Watch and informed the Tribunal that he had received power of Attorney from the organization. He further submitted that Human Rights Watch had received notice but had not gotten a copy of the order dated 2 September 2013, nor any documents relating to the contempt proceedings. He sought 8 weeks time for preparation. The Tribunal granted this, adjourning the proceedings of the case until 8 December 2013.

Contempt proceedings against The Economist

In the contempt proceedings against The Economist, the Tribunal issued a notice in December 2012, asking the South Asian Bureau Chief and the Chief Editor to reply why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them. Appearing on behalf of The Economist, Barrister Mustafizur Rahman Khan had submitted a reply to the Tribunal, which has been pending ever since. Today, 4 November 2013, had been fixed for the contempt proceedings, but they were pushed back to 8 December 2013 for further proceedings of this case.

Motiur Rahman Nizami

In the case against Motiur Rahman Nizami, the Prosecution made their closing arguments for the second day. The Prosecution made submission about the role of Nizami in 1971, as well as submissions in support of Charge 1. Thereafter, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow, 5 November 2013.

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October 2013: ICT-1 Monthly Overview of Progress of Cases

Due to funding uncertainties late in the year, our project was forced to take a hiatus in the month of October.  During this time, our trial observers were not physically present in the courtroom to observe proceedings.  Trial observation resumed in November, after additional funding was secured to continue the project.  In the interest of continuity, we have compiled two brief posts—one for ICT-1 and the other for ICT-2— highlighting major developments in each of the cases that took place during our October hiatus. As we have done with Hartal coverage of the proceedings, the following information was compiled from official court records and communication with the parties to the proceedings.

This month, the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. ATM Azharul Islam
  3. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami
  4. Contempt Proceedings

Salauddin Qader Chowdhury

In the case of Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury, Tribunal 1 issued a verdict on 1 October 2013. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury was found guilty and sentenced to death for charges 3, 5, 6 and 8. He received 70 years imprisonment for  charges 2, 4, 7, 17 and 18. He was acquitted of 8 charges, and the Prosecution did not submit any evidence on the remaining 6 charges. During the pronouncement of verdict, the Accused Salauddin Qader Chowdhury alleged that the verdict had already leaked and was available on the website. Continue reading

10 October 2013: ICT-2 Special Report – AKM Yusuf, Bail Hearing; Jahir Uddin Jalal alias Bicchu, Contempt Proceedings

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. AKM Yusuf
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Jahir Uddin Jalal

On 10 October 2013 heard a bail application from senior Defense counsel Abdur Razzak, on behalf of AKM Yusuf.  Counsel sought release of the Accused on grounds of recent deterioration of his health. The Court directed the jail authorities to submit an updated health report to the Tribunal, reflecting the latest health condition of the Accused. It fixed 23 October 2013 as the next date for passing further orders in regard to his bail.

Also today, the tribunal passed its long awaited order in the contempt proceedings against Jahir Uddin Jalal. These contempt proceeding had received significant attention from the Bangladeshi public, in particular amongst members of the Bar, so we elected to review the charges in detail here, as compiled from previous daily summaries where we covered the matter.

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30 September 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary –Motiur Rahman Nizami, PW-26; Human Rights Watch Contempt Proceedings; Mir Qasem Ali, Pre-trial Submisisons

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Human Rights Watch
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Mir Qasem Ali
  3. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami

Contempt Proceedings

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 titled ‘Bangladesh: Azam Conviction Based on Flawed Proceedings: Analysis Outlines how Fair Trial, Rights of Accused Seriously Compromised’ regarding the judgment in the Gholam Azam’s case. Today, Md Asaduzzaman appeared on behalf of Human Rights Watch.  However, he informed the Tribunal that he had not yet secured a signed power of Attorney, so he sought additional time from the Court, before proceeding. The Tribunal agreed to adjourn the proceedings in this matter until 4 November 2013.  Continue reading

26 September 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary –Motiur Rahman Nizami, PW-26; Contempt Charges against Channel 24 and others

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Channel 24 and others
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami

Contempt Proceedings

On 25 September 2013, the Tribunal heard a petition filed by Prosecution for contempt under section 11(4) of the ICT Act 1973 read with Rule 45 of Rules of Procedure 2010 against a number of Channel 24 personnel and affiliates. Todaythe Tribunal issued a notice towards the named individuals, asking them to reply by 10 October 2013, explaining why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them. The Order specifically called Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury and Mahfuz Ullah to appear before the Tribunal in person.  The Court further asked Channel 24 not to re-broadcast the impugned talk-show episode. The Order declared that talk-show guests, Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury and Mahfuz Ullah had publically discussed a matter subjudice, without knowing the factual aspects, and had deliberately called into question the trial proceedings. Channel 24 had facilitated this behavior by broadcasting the offending statements of the guests.  Continue reading