Investigators have identified two war crimes tribunal employees and a defence counsel’s assistant as suspects for leaking the verdict draft of BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury’s case.
The detectives meanwhile filed a case against the three and several other unnamed people under the Information and Communication Technology Act. One of the employees of the tribunal has already been detained.
The law enforcers on Friday afternoon raided the chamber of the defence counsel, Fakhrul Islam, and seized documents and his personal computers.
Two employees of International Crimes Tribunal, one assistant of the defence lawyer and several others were involved in leaking the draft of the verdict before the court delivered it on Tuesday, Monirul Islam, joint commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said Friday.
He said the two employees did the leak through a portable computer device [USB] from the tribunal’s computers in exchange of money and later the defence lawyer’s assistant sent it abroad by e-mail to upload online.
Detective Branch of police suspected war criminal SQ Chowdhury’s men were behind the conspiracy to taint the image of the tribunal and make the verdict controversial.
Tribunal employee Nayon Ali, a sweeper and Fakhrul Hossain, an office assistant of the tribunal and Mehedi Hasan, an assistant of SQ Chowdhury’s lawyer Fakhrul Islam were among several others involved in leaking the draft, said Monirul Islam while briefing the press.
The detectives on Friday filed the case with Shahbagh Police Station accusing the trio and several unnamed others. They arrested Nayon on Friday while the rest accused were on the run. A source in DB preferring anonymity said Fakhrul is also under DB custody for interrogation.
Advocate Fakhrul Islam told The Daily Star that the detectives accompanied by Rab and police raided his chamber at Kakrail in the capital around 2:30pm.
During the one-and-half-an-hour drive, the law enforcers broke open the lawyer’s chamber on the first floor of the building and seized several documents including the certified copy of the judgment on SQ Chowdhury and his personal computers, he said.
Fakhrul, a resident of Dhanmondi, added that he was not present but his caretaker was there during the raid.
A 164-page document, which did not contain judges’ observations or the sentence, was found online on Monday night with claims that a draft verdict had been leaked.
The Detective Branch of police began an investigation after AKM Nasiruddin Mahmud, registrar and spokesman of International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), filed a general diary with Shahbagh Police Station in connection with the leak.
On Tuesday, ICT-1 awarded the BNP leader the death sentence for committing crimes against humanity and genocide in Chittagong during the Liberation War in 1971.
Immediately after the pronouncement of the verdict, his family members and defence lawyers told the media that the verdict had been available in a few websites before the tribunal delivered it.
They also alleged that the draft verdict had been retrieved from a computer of the law ministry and that it was written by the ministry itself.
ICT the following day confirmed that an organised vested group had leaked parts of the draft verdict from the tribunal and uploaded it on the internet to make the war crimes trial controversial.