Trial process must be transparent
Thursday, 24 April 2008

The allegation of executive’s interference in the judicial process of Sheikh Hasina is unfortunate. Before the judge of the special court now trying the former PM Barrister Shafique Ahmed, a former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, alleged that lawyers of Hasina were allegedly summoned and were asked not to make their court submissions lengthy or talk to the media. I may have to face the same music some day, he said. After this the CG now runs the risk of losing its credibility unless it can prove the Barrister wrong. We shall not go into the merit or demerits of the cases against Hasina. That’s for the courts to decide. But we can at least say this that the entire legal proceedings against Hasina and Khaleda go against the general perception of what is fair and transparent. The counsel’s allegations have become a big one calling for immediate rebuttal from the CG. On the other hand, Barrister Shafique must also substantiate his allegations by producing those lawyers who were allegedly summoned by the intelligence agencies and advised not to fight the cases seriously. Allegations unless substantiated mean nothing and those who make them must face the music.  Even more disturbing is the allegation that the judiciary is not functioning independently although it was made independent of the executive in November, 2007. “Doing justice is not enough”, goes the saying,” justice must also be seen to have been done.” It is a big challenge for the CG. We hope the CG with come up with a strong rebuttal with evidence and convince the people about the transparency and accountability of its actions.

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