25 March 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary –
Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:
- Contempt Proceedings vs. the Economist – Reply from Respondent
- Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury – Hearing of Request for Police Escort, Prosecution Witness 23
Today Mustafizur Rahman, counsel for the named respondents in the contempt proceedings against the Economist, submitted their reply and the Tribunal fixed 24 April 2013 for a hearing. The South Asian Bureau Chief of the Economist and the Chief Editor of the London based weekly were named in contempt proceedings that the Tribunal initiated on 6 December 2012. The Tribunal issued a notice asking them to show cause why action for interference with the ongoing trials and violating the privacy of a judge in conjunction with the publication of alleged skype conversations between the former Tribunal 1 Chairman and foreign lawyer Ahmed Ziauddin.
Today the Tribunal also heard arguments from Ahsanul Huq Hena, Senior Defense Counsel for Salauddin Qader Chowdhury, in support of his application for police protection coming to the Tribunal during hartal (strike) days. The advocate submitted that he represents Salauddin Qader Chowdhury, Mobarak Hossain alias Mobarak Ali, and Abdul Alim. Hena stated that he is does not belong to any political party and comes to court in a professional context. He further submitted that on his way to the Tribunal he has been followed and threatened in offensive language by people outside the court. Because he resides far away from the Tribunal and has to cross several areas to come to the Tribunal, Hena stated that it is unsafe and troublesome for him to attend proceedings during hartal days.
Prosecutor Sultan Mahmud Simon agreed with the Defense application and stated that if the provisions of law (he did not make it clear which law) allowed Prosecution counsel to receive police protection then Defense Counsel should be similarly assisted. The Tribunal verbally allowed the Defense application and asked Prosecutor Sultan Mahmud Simon to communicate the Tribunal’s approval to the police. The Tribunal also scheduled 27 March as the date for passing its order regarding this application.
After hearing the Defense application, the Tribunal then turned to the Defense’s cross-examination of Prosecution witness 23, Bano Gopal Dash. After the completion of the cross-examination the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until 27 March 2013.