Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:
- Contempt Proceedings Against Ahmed Ziauddin
Today Tribunal 2 passed an order in the contempt proceedings against Ahmed Ziauddin, disposing off the matter but making an official observation. The contempt proceedings were initiated suo moto by the Tribunal on 3 January 2013, following the leakage of Skype conversations between the former Chairman of Tribunal 1 and Ziauddin, a Brussels based legal expert and pro-trial activist. News of the Skype controversy was first reported by The Economist. The Tribunal brought charges of contempt against The Economist, which are still pending. The complete conversations were then printed by the local Daily Amar Desh, which has been shut down by the government following the arrest of its chief editor Mr Mahmudur Rahman on charges related to the Skype controversy. The Tribunal took the contents of the conversation into judicial notice during the hearing of a defense application praying for a retrial in the interest of justice. All applications for retrial were rejected. However, in that ruling the Tribunal noted that if the comments allegedly made by Ziauddin were authentic, they cast the International Crimes Tribunal in negative light by making it look like it lacked independence and was a dictated body. The Tribunal was also critical about Ziauddin’s alleged comments regarding Judge Shahinur Islam, a judge of Tribunal-2, and termed the same as completely unacceptable.
Upon the request of the Tribunal Mr Ahmed Ziauddin submitted his written explanation through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after about four and a half months. Today the Tribunal disposed off the contempt proceedings and decided that they would not proceed with them any further. The Tribunal stated that the truthfulness of the leaked conversations cannot be determined and also noted that Ziauddin neither admitted nor denied the allegations. Nevertheless, the Tribunal observed that it would be unjust to arrive at a decision in regards the authenticity of the Skype documents based on evidence which in itself has been obtained illegally through hacking. The contempt matter against the Brussels based expert has thus been closed and the judges stated in its judgment that it merited no further steps.
The court then adjourned for the day.