A designated prosecutor has moved a petition seeking to issue show-cause notice upon Channel 24, a private satellite TV network, asking why contempt proceedings should not be drawn against it for airing ‘scandalous’ program over the tribunal dealing with the cases of 1971 war crimes.
Moving the contempt plea on Wednesday, prosecutor Zead Al Malum told the International Crimes Tribunal-1 that on September 18 at 11 pm, Channel 24 aired a talk- show titled ‘Muktobaak’ where the participants had dished out ‘distorted information’ about the trial process in the case of war crimes accused BNP stalwart Salauddin Quader Chowdhury.
Prosecutor Malum termed the allegation false, baseless, fabricated and ill-motivated, and said such scandalous remarks on a subjudice matter would cast doubt in the minds of the people both at home and abroad about the transparency of the trial proceedings.
By airing the program, the Channel 24 had tarnished the image of the tribunal and made the tribunal’s justice delivery process questionable, he said.
Eight persons have been made accused in the contempt plea. They are Managing Director of Channel 24, its Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director, Head of Program, Producer of ‘Muktobaak’, Anchor of the talk show Mahmudur Rahman Manna and participants Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury of Gonoshasthaya, and Mahfuzullah of Centre for Sustainable Development.
Before closing his argument, prosecutor Malum submitted a DVD of the impugned program before the tribunal for examination.
After hearing the prosecutor, Justice ATM Fazle Kabir, chairman of the three-member tribunal, said: “After viewing the DVD, we’ll pass order tomorrow (Thursday) on the matter.”