The International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday ordered BNP standing committee member MK Anwar to explain within seven days the derogatory comments he allegedly made about the war crimes trial.
The tribunal, led by Justice Obaidul Hassan, issued the show cause notice following a prosecution petition and asked the BNP lawmaker to respond through his lawyer.
Citing reports published in newspapers, including Bangla dailies Prothom Alo and Daily Sangram, the prosecution on Wednesday filed the petition.
The Sangram quoted Anwar as saying, “The government out of political vengeance is staging a farce in the name of war crimes trial.”
He was addressing a discussion at Mahanagar Natyamancha marking the 77th birth anniversary of late president Ziaur Rahman on January 20.
Prosecutor Rana Dasgupta yesterday said Anwar is not an ordinary man. He is a former minister and a lawmaker and he is aware of law and judicial proceedings in the country.
“But, with an ill motive, he [Anwar] has made the comment to tarnish the image of the tribunal and to mislead people about the trial proceedings,” said Rana Dasgupta.
While mentioning the matter before the tribunal on Wednesday, Rana had said Anwar “committed crimes” under section 11 (4) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973, and sought action against Anwar.
Section 11 (4) of the act says, “A tribunal may punish any person, who obstructs or abuses its process or disobeys any of its orders or directions, or does anything which tends to prejudice the case of a party before it…”
After lunch yesterday, the tribunal in its order said, “The judiciary is an independent organ of the state and it must be kept aside from politics. Making derogatory remarks based on political ideology shall be avoided...”
Expecting responsible remark from responsible people, the tribunal said, “The comment [of Anwar] prima facie appears to have intended to thwart the outcome of sub-judice criminal proceedings causing distortion of public perception.”
“However, we are of the view that no observation should be given in respect of the statement made by MK Anwar without hearing him,” it said and asked him to explain.
Munshi Ahsan Kabir appeared on behalf of Anwar yesterday.
The tribunal fixed February 3 for farther orders in this regard.
Earlier, the tribunal asked several people including a minister to be careful in making comments about the court proceedings.