Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Skype Conversations

Foreign ministry asked to submit Ziauddin’s reply

International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday directed the foreign ministry to take necessary steps to collect Ahmed Ziauddin’s reply, which he had submitted to the Bangladesh embassy in Brussels, and sent it to the court immediately.
The three-member tribunal led by Justice Obaidul Hassan issued the directives as it did not receive any reply from the Bangladeshi legal expert in Belgium.
The tribunal had earlier received information that Ziauddin had submitted his reply to the embassy.
On January 3, the tribunal, on its own, asked Ziauddin to explain through the Bangladesh Mission within 30 days as to why legal proceedings would not be initiated against him for “obstructing fair process of the trials”.
The tribunal had issued the notice amid controversy over the alleged Skype conversation between Ziauddin and former Tribunal-1 chairman Justice Md Nizamul Huq, who subsequently resigned.
After the resignation of Justice Nizamul Huq following the leak of the alleged conversation, the government reconstituted both the tribunals.
On February 17, the tribunal gave 10 weeks’ more time to Ziauddin following his written plea and fixed yesterday for further orders in this regard.
In its order, the tribunal yesterday said the registrar office of the tribunal had not yet received any reply from the foreign ministry.
“Today [Tuesday] the tribunal has received information from Ahmed Ziauddin through e-mail that the embassy of Bangladesh in Brussels, Belgium, has received his reply on April 24, 2013,” said the tribunal.
It directed the relevant desk of the ministry to collect Ziauddin’s reply and send it to the tribunal immediately. The tribunal also fixed May 13 for passing further orders on the issue.
In its January 3 notice, the tribunal had also asked Ziauddin why legal proceedings would not be initiated for his “fallacious, offensive and unfounded remark involving the judges of ICT-2 made during their alleged conversations.”