The International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday asked three top Jamaat-e-Islami leaders to explain why they would not face contempt of court charges for making provocative and derogatory remarks about the tribunal.
The three-member tribunal headed by Justice Obaidul Hassan asked the Jamaat leaders to appear before it to do the explaining on February 20.
The trio is Jamaat acting secretary general Rafiqul Islam Khan, its Central Executive Council member Hamidur Rahman Azad, also a lawmaker, and its Dhaka City unit Assistant Secretary General Selim Uddin.
The tribunal issued the notice on the basis of the reports published in The Daily Star and Prothom Alo on February 5. The dailies published the reports over a Jamaat rally held in the city on February 4.
Bangla daily Prothom Alo quoted Selim Uddin as saying at a Jamaat rally in the capital on February 4: â€œThere is no scope for the controversial tribunal to deliver any verdict if the country is to be saved from a civil war."
It quoted Azad as saying at the same programme, â€œThis tribunal cannot exist anymore.â€
The Daily Star in a report headlined â€œJamaat warns of civil warâ€ quoted Rafiqul Islam as saying, â€œDon't push the country into a civil war by delivering one-sided verdicts against our leaders. If anything happens against Quader Mollah, every house will be on fire.â€
â€œPeople would even shed blood to resist vindictive verdicts by the international crimes tribunals,â€ the daily further quoted Rafiqul.
Yesterday, the tribunal in its order said, â€œWe have perused the remarks which appear to be extremely derogatory to the independence and image of a lawfully constituted court of law.â€
In the name of politics and saving a party man, no one, on any consideration, can threaten or warn of waging civil war in the event of any punishment to be awarded by a lawfully constituted tribunal, the tribunal said.
â€œSuch remark is extremely disparaging, disrespecting and affecting independence and image of the tribunal,â€ it said, adding: â€œSuch abhorrently outrageous remarks are a threat to our constitution too.â€
Initially, the tribunal served the notice upon Selim and Azad but later included Rafiqul modifying the previous order, tribunal sources said.
Meanwhile, the tribunal granted a prosecution petition to consider two books as documents.
The books are â€œJuddhe Juddhe Jibonâ€ by Mina Farha, who was the daughter of Surendra Mohan Saha, whose house was allegedly used as an Al-Badr camp in Sherpur during the Liberation War.
Another book is â€œJuddher Arale Juddhaâ€ by Prof Abu Sayeed.