This is the full text of the order (copied from the original)
The chairman of this Tribunal and the two members are judges of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. After creation of this Tribunal when the Chairman and the two members were appointed, they mentioned in the open court room that the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973 is a new law to them and for them to understand this law, looking into the processes and orders of different tribunals and perusal of them are necessary, along with being advised by the prosecution and the defense counsel and consultation with the experts. They can also take the assistance of researchers from inside and outside the country and with this understanding and knowledge coming from all such people, the trial process was continuing in this Tribunal.
The Chairman has had the privilege of receiving the support of Dr Ahmed Ziauddin, an expert in International Criminal law and some other person was are Bangladeshi residing in Brusells and other places and occasionally the Chairman has discussion with Dr Ahmed Ziauddin on the developments on International Criminal law throughout the world and took the assistance of him in this respect. During the proceedings of the trial and order the Chairman also took the assistance from him. In this respect they have had discussion through Skype.
Just two or three days earlier the chairman found that his e-mail and Skype accounts along with his computer has been hacked. Yesterday at about 10.00 pm, the chairman received a telephone call from the phone number +91981001XXXX identifying that the telephone call is coming from the London based The Economist and told the Chairman that his conversation with Dr Ahmed Ziauddin is in their possession and asked the Chairman some questions regarding this information. He also mentioned that the Chairmn regularly talks with Dr Ahmed Ziauddin through Skype and received his advice through e-mail. He also mentioned that all the materials in the e-mails, the chairman received from Dr Ahmed Ziauddin are in their possession. This is how the Chairman became aware of this alarming development. This also explains a serious breach of privacy taking computer, e-mail and Skype accounts and obtaining confidential information from the Chairman illegally which amounts to interfering a judge of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. And by questioning him over the telephone the person on the other side has also involved himself in speaking with the chairman which under the law he cannot do.
The chairman has also got information that the e-mail and the Skype accounts and computer of Dr Ahmed Ziauddin have also been hacked which makes it clear that the person who are involved in disturbing the ongoing processes of this tribunal are involved in this matter. This cannot be allowed in any way.
As such we give notice to Mr Adam Robers, South Asia Bureua Chief, the Economist (telephone number + 911141027759 and to Rob Gifford, Chief Editor, The Economist, 25 St James Street, London, telephone number 00 44207830XXXX and mobile 0044890305XXXX to give reply within 3 weeks as to why proceedings under section 11(4) of the Internatoinal Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973 shall not be initiated against them. They also directed to keep secret the information which they have gathered from the Skype and e-mail accounts as well as the computer of the Chairman as this makes public the privacy of the Chiarman which need to be kept secret and in case they violate it proper action under the law will be taken.
Let copies be sent to the Inspector General of Police and Chairman BTRC, Bangladesh for information and necessary action.
To 27.12.2012 for further order.Comment
One did not see this coming!
However the role of Ziauddin Ahmed has always been mysterious and I have been asking questions about his role in the tribunal for some time, but was never able to clarify exactly what he did do. Perhaps now we will find out. (I will write more about him after the Economist piece comes out, assuming that one is about to be published)
The initial question that comes to ones mind is if the Tribunal chairman was relying on Ziauddin so much, why was this not made public.
The tribunal says that it was mentioned in open court that 'they can also take the assistance of researchers from inside and outside the country.' Maybe they did, but I certainly cannot remember them doing so
The second question is what do these e-mails reveal - since one would imagine that discussion between the Chairman and Ziauddin about international criminal law in different courts would not create any great problem.
Since the Economist is delving in this one must assume that the correspondence reveals something more controversial. We will just have to wait and see what this could be.
The third question is who obtained these documents. One has to assume - in light of everything going on with the Leverson inquiry in England - that the Economist would never be involved in the hacking process itself. So that must mean that someone else hacked in and gave the information to the Economist.
Assuming this to be the case, this still surely raises some difficult questions for the Economist; they would be receiving (and then publishing) illegally obtained communications from the e-mail account of a sitting judge involving a case that continues to be under trial and awaiting judgement. For this to be justifiable, there would have to be a very very strong public interest defense. And right now, it is difficult to appreciate what that might be.