Tribunal summons Bergman

The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) has summoned journalist David Bergman to explain his comments about the war crimes trial.

Published : 20 Feb 2014, 08:21 AM
Updated : 20 Feb 2014, 09:12 AM

Bergman, who works for English-language daily 'New Age', has been asked to appear before the Tribunal and come up with explanations himself or through his lawyer on Mar 6.

The ICT-2, headed by Justice Obaidul Hassan, gave the order on Thursday after hearing a plea filed by a High Court lawyer Abul Kalam Azad.

Mizan Sayeed, Azad’s lawyer, submitted the petition to the ICT on Tuesday.

“The article published on Oct 11, 2011 is still available in his (Bergman) blog. In his article, he has challenged the observation of the tribunal. So as citizens we brought the matter to judicial notice and requested necessary action,” Sayeed told on Tuesday.

In his blog, Bergman criticised the war crimes verdict of fugitive Abul Kalam Azad alias Bachchu Razakar, which was given on Jan 28 last year, he added.

Bergman, widely criticised for his stance by those supporting the war crimes trials, told on Tuesday that he could not comment on the accusations since he had not been provided a copy of the lawyer’s application.

He, however, said, “Whilst my blog does contain critical comments of some of the tribunal's orders, the comments are measured, and fair - even though others may disagree with them.”

“A fair criticism of judicial proceedings or courts is no doubt permissible so as to enable the court to look inward into the correctness of the proceedings and the legality of the order…" he said citing an Appellate Division decision in his defence.

Bergman’s ‘A Crucial Period for ICT’ was published on Oct 2, 2011.

The following day, Bergman, the reporter, New Age’s Editor Nurul Kabir and publisher ASM Shahidullah Khan were show-caused for contempt of court.

The tribunal at the end of hearing had issued a warning to Bergman on Feb 19, 2012 and mentioned that the reporter was in contempt of court but was being let off in consideration of his social status.

Bergman, a British citizen, is married to Sara Hossain, the daughter of Kamal Hossain, who played a vital role in drafting Bangladesh’s Constitution.