The High Court today ordered executed war criminal Salauddin Quader Chowdhury’s wife and son to surrender to the lower court concerned in six weeks in connection with the case filed for leaking the war crimes tribunal's draft verdict on him in 2013.
Issuing a suomoto rule, the court, however, asked the trial court to grant bail to Salauddin's wife Farhat Quader Chowdhury and son Hummam Quader Chowdhury after their surrender in the case.
In the rule, the HC asked the authorities concerned of the government to explain in four weeks as to why the acquittal of Farhat and Hummam should not be cancelled and why they should not be given suitable punishment in the case.
The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice JBM Hassan also called for the records of the case from the lower court.
The judges came up with the order and rule on a suomoto (of its own) move during hearing an appeal filed by Salauddin's Manager Mahbubul Ahsan against the lower court order that sentenced him seven years’ imprisonment.
The bench passed the order after seeing the relevant documents that there are some inconsistencies in sentencing the accused, as the trial court has convicted and handed down different jail terms to five men but acquitted Farhat and Hummam in the same case, Assistant Attorney General Shahidul Islam Khan told The Daily Star.
The HC accepted the appeal of Mahbubul for its hearing, he said, adding that the appeal will be heard when the records of the case will be produced before it from the lower court.
Soon after the pronouncement of the verdict in the war crimes case by the International Crimes Tribunal-1 on October 1, 2013, Salauddin's wife and family members showed “a copy of the verdict” to newsmen, claiming it was leaked.
Later, the tribunal authorities said a portion of the draft verdict had been leaked.
Detectives filed a case with Shahbagh Police Station on October 4 that year against Fakhrul, Mehedi, Faruk, Nayon and several unnamed people under the Information and Communication Technology Act, 2006.
On September 15 this year, a Dhaka court delivered the verdict in the case.
In the case, Salauddin's counsel Fakhrul Islam was handed down 10 years' imprisonment with a fine of Tk 10 lakh, Salauddin's Manager Mahbubul Ahsan, Fakhrul's assistant Mehedi Hasan and the then office assistant of the tribunal Faruk Hossain and peon Nayon Ali were awarded seven years' imprisonment each.
The Cyber Tribunal, however, acquitted Salauddin's wife Farhat Quader Chowdhury and son Hummam Quader Chowdhury, as the prosecution failed to prove their involvement in “hatching conspiracy and instigating” the leak, which raised question over the security of the special tribunal.
The whereabouts of Hummam has remained unknown since he was reportedly picked up by unidentified men from a court compound in the city on August 4.