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Disparaging remarks on judgment ICT may go for contempt proceedings against Jamaat leaders

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Court Correspondent The International Crimes Tribunal-1 on Monday asked the top brass of Jamaat-e-Islami, its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) and a 1971 war crimes defence lawyer to explain why contempt proceedings should not be drawn against them for making ‘disparaging’ remarks on its judgment. Passing the contempt-of-court rule under section 11 (4) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973, the three-member, headed by Justice M Enayetur Rahim, asked them to appear through their counsel before it on January 28. The respondent-contemnors are Jamaat’s acting ameer Mokbul Ahmed, acting nayeb-e-ameer Mujibur Rahman, acting secretary general Dr Shafiqur Rahman, and Shibir president Abdul Jabbar and general secretary M Atiqur Rahman and advocate Tajul Islam. During the proceedings, the tribunal also asked barrister Shishir Manir, counsel for the respondents, to enlighten the tribunal with detailed elucidation whether the spirit of the Hadith, the teachings of Islam, left for the followers of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), is consistent with the present violent program enforced by the Islamic political parties. The prosecution on January 1 filed the contempt petition following the remarks made by advocate Tajul Islam and other respondents over the judgment pronounced by the tribunal on December 30, last year that had condemned Jamaat leader ATM Azharul Islam, also a 1971 Rangpur commander of Al Badr, a secret killing squad, to death for crimes against humanity, including genocide, during the Liberation War. According to the prosecution, Jamaat reacting to the judgment in a statement announcing consecutive two-day dawn-to-dusk countrywide shutdown describing the program as in protest against “conspiracy to kill” Azharul Islam. Besides, Tajul Islam while giving his reaction to the press said, "Justice would have been done if the tribunal had thrown the prosecution evidence into the dustbin. ”Rather, he said, “Justice would have been served if the prosecution had been fined for coming up with such evidence.” Prosecutors Zead Al Malum, Sultan Mahmud Simon and Tureen Afroz were present.