Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal: Drama that shocked millions of People! - Abbas Islam Khan

Abbas Islam Khan

Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal: Drama that shocked millions of People!

Have you Seen any legal Drama Before? Perhaps. Most of you might have seen  legal dramas like Boston Legal, The Practice, CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, NCIS, Courting Alex, Cold Case, Close to Home, Medium, Law & Order etc. Though legal professional would argue those dramas do not adequately show the legal system or its operations, relying instead on fictitious situations and formulas! But I will show you a real Drama Today! Drama that caused the suffering of thousands of people in Bangladesh! Drama which was created to hang Popular Political Figures in Bangladesh. The name of the Drama is “Bangladesh International War Crimes Tribunal”. These secret drama was exposed after some Skype conversation by the Judge with an outsider was leaked! The Economist exposed the unfairness and injustice of the trial. Later, Daily Amar Desh, Wall Street Journal and  followed Economists. You will find the audio conversation on this link:


Millions of People enjoyed the skype conversation on YouTube and in Facebook. They were shocked… Speechless…Scared! How can a Judge and a government create a Drama to hang people in the name of Justice! Yes Dears, This is what happened in Bangladesh! And I’m going to write regarding that drama on a regular basis. Today I will Give a Summary of the Exposed  Skype Conversation and E-mail  that Proved Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal is Unfair, biased and controlled by the Executives. Later, on my Blog, I will Explain on each point that I summarized in this blog. 

Until 11 December, 2012 the International Crimes Tribunal-1, Dhaka was composed of Mr. Justice Md. Nizamul Huq as Chairman, with Mr. Justice Md. Jahangir Hossain and Mr. Justice Anwarul Hoque as Members. The International Crimes Tribunal-2, Dhaka on the other hand was composed of Mr. Justice A.T.M. Fazle Kabir as Chairman, with Mr. Justice Obaidul Hasan and Judge Md. Shahinur Islam as Members. On 11, December, Justice Huq resigned when his clandestine Skype conversations with an outsider (i.e. Dr. Ahmed Ziauddin, a Bangladeshi lawyer living in Brussels) were disclosed by the Daily Amar Desh

1. The conversations between Justice Huq and Dr. Ahmed Ziauddin, show that they had discussions not only as to who should depose as Prosecution Witness, but also as to the contents and length of the deposition.

2. Emails between Ziauddin and Justice Huq show that the Indictment Orders of Prof. Ghulam Azam, Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and Delwar Hossain Saydee were in fact drafted by Ziauddin and emailed to Justice Huq the evening before they were announced in open court by Justice Huq.

3. Email exchanges between Ziauddin and Justice Huq clearly show that the Formal Charge (which was required to be prepared by the Prosecution and placed before the Tribunal) in the case of Ghulam Azam was actually prepared at the behest of Ziauddin. It is clear therefore the order of cognizance taken by the Tribunal on the basis of the Formal Charge drafted by Ziauddin is illegal.

4. Justice Huq had regular meetings with the Prosecutors during which decisions were taken regarding filing of petitions by the Prosecutors and passing of orders thereon by the Tribunal. Not only that, Ziauddin played an important role in advising Justice Huq and the Prosecutors, often acting as a conduit between the two. 

5. The conversation between Justice Huq and Ziauddin also show extensive executive interference, in particular that of the State Minister for Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, with the process of the Tribunal. The State Minister regular visited Justice Huq and directed him to pass judgments quickly.

6. Furthermore, there is evidence to show that Justice Huq had been offered a promotion to the Appellate Division by the Chief Justice and a senior Judge of the Appellate Division upon disposal of as many as three cases by December, 2012. Click here for details. In light of this disclosure it is feared that similar rewards/incentives were given to other judges of the Tribunal.

7. The appointment of judges too is revealed to be made on a political basis. Judge Md. Shahinur Islam (Tribunal-2) and Justice Md. Jahangir Hossain (Tribunal-1) are described as Awami Leaguers. Justice Anwarul Hoque (Tribunal-1) is described as a ‘Yes-man’ of Justice Huq. Justice Kabir (Chairman of Tribunal-2 and now of Tribunal-1 since 12 December) is described as taking into account political considerations in making statements/taking decisions.


Most of the judges of the Tribunals appear from the Skype conversations to be appointed because of their political leanings. There is evidence of interference by Ministers. Ziauddin also seems to have influence over the judges in both Tribunals. Although the evidence of interference by Ministers is available in respect of one judge (due to the benefit of hacked Skype conversations), it is only reasonable that the same Ministers who influenced Justice Huq would also seek to influence other judges of the Tribunal. All the judges have been tainted. So the only course open is to hold a re-trial with new judges in all cases. There should also be an independent inquiry into the conduct of all the judges of both the Tribunals.