Bangladeshi war crimes tribunal issues notice to The Economist

War crimes tribunal

A special Bangladeshi tribunal trying 1971 "war criminals" today issued a notice to the London-based 'The Economist' for "interference" in trial process and "privacy" of a judge and asked for an explanation in three weeks.

"This cannot be allowed in anyway," chairman of the three-judge International Crimes Tribunal-1 Justice Nizamul Huq said as the court issued the notice to the weekly newspaper's chief editor Rob Gifford and its South Asia bureau chief Adam Roberts.

The high-powered court, which is currently hearing cases related to 10 high profile Bangladeshis accused of masterminding or carrying atrocities siding with Pakistani troops during Bangladesh's 1971 Liberation War, asked the paper to reply by December 27 why legal proceedings would not be taken against its staff for interfering in the ongoing trial and violating the privacy of a judge.

The tribunal also asked the weekly not to publish the information it gathered by hacking Huq's skype and e-mail accounts and warned that in case it violates the order "proper action" under the law will be taken.

The tribunal also ordered a simultaneous investigation by police and Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (BTRC) investigations into the hacking of a private internet conversation between Huq and Brussels-based Bangladesh-born international war crimes expert Dr Ahmed Ziauddin.

Two or three days ago Huq discovered that his e-mail and skype accounts were hacked. He last night received a phone call from a person who claimed himself an Economist staff who said the tribunal chief's conversation with Ziauddin was in the paper's possession.

"The Chairman has also got information that the e-mail and the skype accounts and computer of Dr Ahmed Ziauddin have also been hacked which makes it clear that the persons who are involved in disturbing the ongoing processes of this Tribunal are involved in this matter," the notice said.

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