The International Crimes Tribunal-1is going to get new chairman this week after more than one month of vacancy in the post that halted the trial in war crimes cases.
Law Minister Anisul Huq told The Daily Star on Friday that the process of appointing the ICT-1 chief was going on and would be completed in a week.
“A sitting judge from the High Court Division of the Supreme Court will be appointed as the chairman of the International Crimes Tribunal-1,” he said.
The minister refused to say why the government took more than one month after former chairman Justice ATM Fazle Kabir went on retirement on December 31 last year.
However, sources in the law ministry and the SC said the government was looking for a “committed” and “suitable” judge for the post.
A few HC judges were requested to take over, but they were yet to take a final decision, the sources added.
They said the government was busy with the 10th parliamentary election held on January 5 and formation of the new governmen and thus could not take an initiative to that end.
Speaking anonymously, a law ministry official said the government had earlier decided to reappoint Justice ATM Fazle Kabir as the chairman of ICT-1, but it had changed the decision due to “some legal complexity”.
The government on January 23 appointed Justice Fazle Kabir as a member of the Law Commission.
Two existing judges of the ICT-1 Justice Jahangir Hossain and Justice Anwarul Haque have meanwhile not sat in the bench as the tribunal was not reconstituted, insiders said.
Supreme Court Registrar AKM Shamsul Islam on January 29 said if the government wanted to appoint an HC sitting judge as the ICT-1 chairman, it had to take approval from the chief justice.
The chief justice's nod was not required if the government wanted to appoint a retired judge in the post, he added.
The tribunal-1 headed by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir completed trial of war crimes accused Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami on November 20 last year and kept the case waiting for verdict.
A few other war crimes cases are pending with the tribunal, according to sources.