Bergman pays the fine
Dhaka-based British journalist David Bergman yesterday paid the Tk 5,000 he was fined recently for contempt of court.
He paid the money through the Supreme Court branch of Sonali Bank and informed the registrar's office of the International Crimes Tribunal of the matter in a letter yesterday noon, the tribunal's Deputy Registrar Arunava Chakraborty told The Daily Star.
On December 2, Tribunal-2 found Bergman, editor (special reports) of the daily New Age, guilty of contempt for his comments on the court's authority.
The special court sentenced him to imprisonment till rising of the court and fined him Tk 5,000. It also asked him to pay the fine within seven working days since the order. Otherwise, he has to spend seven days in jail.
The proceedings against the journalist began in April after the court had found “prima facie elements of contempt” in Bergman's three write-ups posted in his personal blog in November 2011 and January 2013.
One article was about the indictment order in the case against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee, while two others about the trial of expelled Jamaat member Abul Kalam Azad, also known as Bachchu Razakar, in absentia. Both the accused have been convicted for their wartime crimes.
Bergman questioned the number of Liberation War martyrs in his article on Sayedee.
The court, however, said the criticism made on the issue of martyrs' number in 1971 in his post on Sayedee's indictment did not constitute any contempt as it did not affect the merit of any of the pending cases with the war crimes tribunals.
But the court has found Bergman guilty of contempt for making offending and scandalous comments in the two other articles.