The Daily Star reports that The International Crimes Tribunal-1 in Bangladesh yesterday extended time until March 4 for two journalists of The Economist to reply to a show-cause notice it had issued earlier.
The three-member tribunal headed by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir fixed the new date following a time petition from the counsel of the two journalists.
The tribunal on December 6 last year served the notice on Chief Editor Rob Gifford and South Asia Bureau Chief Adam Roberts of the British magazine asking them to reply within three weeks why proceedings under section 11 (4) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973, would not be taken against them.
The move came after a person, claiming to have been from The Economist, had called Justice Md Nizamul Huq, former chairman of the tribunal, and said the weekly possessed the record of his Skype conversation with expatriate legal expert Ahmed Ziauddin.
Section 11 (4) of the Act says a tribunal may punish any person, who obstructs or abuses its process or disobeys any of its orders or directions, or does anything which tends to prejudice the case of a party before it.
Mustafizur Rahman Khan, counsel of the journalists, told the tribunal his clients had received the show-cause notice in the last part of January and he received Vokalatnama (power of attorney) on Saturday.
The tribunal fixed March 4 as the lawyer sought four weeks' time for preparation.
Justice Huq resigned from the tribunal on December 11 amid controversy over the leak and media reports on his Skype conversation with Ziauddin, following which the government reconstituted the two tribunals.