Judge KM Shamsul Alam of the Dhaka Cyber Tribunal set new date on Sunday afternoon, as the verdict of the case was not yet ready.
The accused in the case are SQ Chowdhury’s wife Farhat Quader Chowdhury, son Hummam Quader Chowdhury, manager Mahbubul Ahsan and counsel barrister Fakhrul Islam; Fakhrul’s assistant Mehedi Hasan, and war crimes tribunal’s office staff Faruk Hossain and Nayan Ali.
Of them, all but Mehedi – absconding since the filing of the case – were on bail.
Hummam had been picked up by plainclothes police from in front of the entrance of the Dhaka’s Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court on August 4,.
After the accused were indicted on February 15 this year, the special tribunal recorded the statements of 21 out of 25 prosecution witnesses.
DB police submitted the charges on August 28, 2014, but the indictment hearing was deferred a dozen times due to filing of time petitions by the defence repeatedly.
According to the charge sheet, the accused in connivance with each other leaked parts of the draft verdict from the tribunal chairman’s computer and uploaded it on different websites to make the war crimes trial controversial.
It was also mentioned that SQ Chowdhury’s family had made huge investments to leak the draft verdict.
Farhat Quader and Hummam were charged with hatching conspiracy and instigating the leak, while lawyer Fakhrul charged with facilitating it. Mehedi, Mahbubul, Faruk and Nayan were directly involved in the crime.
A former BNP lawmaker from Raozan in Chittagong, Salauddin was hanged on November 22 last year for killing Nutan Chandra Singha and orchestrating three other genocides during the 1971 Liberation War.
According to the case, on October, 1, 2013, shortly after pronouncement of the verdict, his family members and defence counsels told the war crimes tribunal that the verdict had already been available on a few websites. They also claimed that the judgement was dictated by the government as it had been written in the Law Ministry.
On October 2, the war crimes tribunal registrar filed a general diary with Shahbagh police over the leak. After primary investigation, DB police filed a case under the Information and Communication Technology Act on October 4.
Nayan in his confessional statement on October 10 the same year said that he had begun delivering bits of the draft copy in a flash drive to Fakhrul’s office at Kakrail on September 15, 2014.
He got Tk500-1,000 every day for the work. Family members of Salauddin took the bits of the draft every day, Nayan said.
He, however, claimed that he had been initially unaware of the data contents until September 25.
The following day when he declined to deliver the data, Fakhrul and Mehedi threatened him with life.
If found guilty, the accused may face highest 14 years’ imprisonment or up to Tk1 crore in fines or both as per law.