Justice Kabir new chief
Justice ATM Fazle Kabir is likely to return to International Crimes Tribunal-1, this time as its chairman, while Justice Obaidul Hassan is to lead Tribunal-2 where Justice Md Mojibur Rahman Miah could join.
Following the resignation of Tribunal-1 chief Justice Nizamul Huq, the government has recommended the changes in the two tribunals and appointment of Justice Mojibur to Tribunal-2 to the president.
Justice Mojibur is a judge of the High Court Division of the Supreme Court.
The government asked Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain for a judge's name for appointment to the tribunal and the chief justice suggested Justice Mojibur.
The law ministry sent the proposals to President Zillur Rahman via the Prime Minister's Office. All the procedures are expected to be complete by today.
State Minister for Law Qamrul Islam told The Daily Star that Justice Fazle Kabir had been recommended for the chairman post at Tribunal-1.
Justice Kabir was a member judge of Tribunal-1. The two tribunals are dealing with nine crimes against humanity cases of which Tribunal-1 hears four cases.
Justice Obaidul Hassan, a member judge of Tribunal-2, is likely to replace Justice Kabir at the tribunal while Justice Mojibur would join and work alongside judge M Shahinur Islam.
State Minister Qamrul yesterday said the changes at the tribunals were being made as per section 6 (4) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973.
The section says, "If any member of a tribunal dies or is, due to illness or any other reason, unable to continue to perform his functions, the government may, by notification in the official gazette, declare the office of such member to be vacant and appoint thereto another person qualified to hold the office."
A law ministry official requesting anonymity told The Daily Star that the decision for reshuffle and the new appointment was made at a meeting of Law Minister Shafique Ahmed, the state minister for law and the high officials at the ministry.
Justice Nizamul Huq resigned amid controversy over the leak of his Skype conversation with an expatriate Bangladeshi legal expert.
Meanwhile, pro-opposition lawyers yesterday demanded restart of all four trials at Tribunal-1 afresh and removal of Justice Nizamul Huq from the post of High Court judge.
Moudud Ahmed, a senior pro-BNP lawyer, claimed that the proceedings of Tribunal-1 have become illegal, unconstitutional and unacceptable.
He said Justice Huq and expatriate Bangladeshi legal expert Ahmed Ziauddin talked about ongoing proceedings over Skype.
He said the judges' resignation proved that he had indulged in immoral, illegal acts and violated his oath and committed misconduct.
Moudud was speaking at a press conference organised by 18-party alliance backed lawyers at the Supreme Court Bar Association auditorium yesterday afternoon.
Moudud appealed to the president to remove Justice Huq from the office of the High Court judge through formation of a Supreme Judicial Council.
He said just an appointment of a new judge and continuation of the trial proceedings would be unacceptable for the nation as Justice Huq resigned in an abnormal situation.
The BNP leader said Tribunal-1 should start trial proceedings from the beginning to ensure transparency and maintaining international standards.
Pro-Jamaat-e-Islami lawyer Abdur Razzaq demanded an international judicial enquiry into the incident.