Bangladesh's war crimes tribunal punishes journlist for contempt

Bangladesh’s war crimes tribunal punishes journlist for contempt


The International Crimes Tribunal-2 here on Tuesday sentenced British origin journalist David Bergman, working at national daily the daily New Age, to jail till court hours and fined Tk 5,000 on contempt of court charge.
ICT-2 Chairman Obaidul Hasan ordered the British national to stand in court for the whole day on Tuesday.
He was also fined Tk 5,000 — failing to pay which will lead to seven days in prison. The judges ruled Bergman to stay away from writing on ‘resolved historical facts.’The court said Bergman had tried to ‘challenge’ the tribunal through the ‘irresponsible’ views he expressed about sub-judice matters in his blog, the court observed.
Bergman is a contributing special correspondent of English daily New Age. His wife lawyer Sara Hossain was present in court during the verdict.
High Court lawyer Abul Kalam Azad had moved the court on Feb 19 seeking contempt proceedings against Bergman. Advocate Syed Mizan conducted a hearing on his plea.
Bergman published two blog pieces – ‘Azad Judgment Analysis-1, In Absentia Trial and Defence Inadequacy’ and ‘Azad Judgment Analysis-2, Tribunal Assumption’ on Jan 28 last year.
The tribunal, formed to try war criminals from the 1971 Liberation War, had been ‘maligned’ by Bergman’s comments on the trial of fugitive Abul Kalam Azad, the plea said.
Bergman commented on the tribunal’s verdict even before it was delivered, lawyer Syed Mizan said in court, adding that he also made comments on sub-judice matters, which were “controversial and damaging to the nation’s sentiments”.
He was accused of contempt for comments on the trial of war criminal Delwar Hossain Sayedee, the plea added.
“The tribunal in its indictment of Delwar Hossain Sayedee said 3 million people were killed, 200,000 females raped and almost 10 million forced to flee to India during Bangladesh’s Liberation War”. “But David Bergman wrote that the tribunal’s figures were baseless.”
The war crimes tribunal had given Bergman a stern warning on his comments on the indictment of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Sayedee after those were published in an opinion piece on New Age in 2011. – Agencies


Comments are closed.