I have already been recommended to read at least three blogs about the recent hacked Skype conversations between International Crimes Tribunal Chairman Justice Nizamul Hoque and a Belgium based Bangladeshi expatriate lawyer Ahmed Ziauddin. All three have the same content, same tone, same desperation. Damage control. Attempts to make people believe that the Skype discussion between the judge and the expatriate lawyer is nothing unusual, in good faith and is perfectly valid.
The folks who wrote those blogs or who shared/ recommended those blogs definitely has one thing to share. They all want the defendants to be executed by hanging. For them the guilt of defendants are foregone conclusion, the trial is just a formality to showcase to the west and it is unimaginable for them that the defendants can be found Not guilty.
But my take on the leaked material, which I heard in youtube and read in Bangla Daily Amar desh is very different from the above spins.
My problems are with the following:
1. On several occasions I heard about discussions between Ahmed Ziauddin and Chief prosecutor Malum. It seemed the judge was in touch with prosecution either directly or via this Ziauddin outside of courtroom setting. From multiple tapped discussion it becomes clear that the judges, the prosecution, some pro trial activists inside and outside the country were working together to write the judgement! I feel that even a child should understand that this is absolutely unacceptable. How can a judge keep in touch outside the courtroom with one side of the arbitration on such a constant basis!
2. It is very clear that Ahmed Ziauddin was advising Nizamul Haque about how to write the judgement. It also came clear that Mr. Ziauddin was writing for Justice Hoque the basic framework of the verdict. The questions, who is this Ahmed Ziauddin. Has he been declared a amicus curie? When? Is there any record in the trial proceedings that Mr AHmed Ziauddin is a legal advisor or Amicus Curie? On what capacity Mr. Ziauddin contribute to the ICT judgement?
3. It was clearly heard that the judge was discussing the details of day to day proceedings in minute details with Mr. Ziauddin. Can a judge do this on a sub judis matter? Not going into the content of the discussion, if any judge is found doing such thing in any proceeding in the civilized world, won’t it mandate a mistrial declaration?
4 On multiple occasions the judge himself confesses that he rejected defense petitions without even reading the petition. He was also heard bragging how he is entrapping the defense and ensuring that defense does not get the time it wanted.
5. This judge was clearly heard making demeaning comments about other sitting judges. In one occasion the judge declares another judge as a “thief”. In another conversation, he claims one one of his newly recruited colleague is corrupt and involved with gold smuggling. For these statements, this judge should face contempt of court.