ICRF responds to Geoffrey Robertson’s “so called Report”


The ICRF responds: Decoding Mr. Geoffrey Robertson’s recent “discoveries” of International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh and Bangladesh’s history

We, The ICRF have read and analysed the 126 pages “so called report” published by a one Mr. Geoffrey Robertson QC describing the delicate operations of the International Crimes Tribunal in terms of the laws upheld there, the fashion they are executed in, and the statutes that govern the tribunal as a whole. Mr. Robertson has declared it to be an independent report, and as such the ICRF initial impressions are as follows:

To begin with, the ICRF will like to state that it is yet to come across a report as biased, factually incorrect and fallacious as Mr. Geoffrey Robertson’s “independent” report, particular on the International Crimes Tribunal in question. The ICRF is unconvinced by Mr. Robertson’s dubious approach on the sovereign tribunal of a sovereign country as we were simply astonished to come across his “directives” towards the honourable court stating that-

“It was repeatedly cited as authoritative by the Supreme Court of Bangladesh in the first case decided by the Tribunal. For that reason alone, Mr Robertson’s opinion must be taken seriously by the government and the legal establishment of Bangladesh”,

thus suggesting that it is obligatory upon a sovereign court to take his hollow and unfair claims into a consideration every time such an issues arises which in the ICRF’s view stokes fires which only generates smoke but no light.

Not only does ICRF believes that Mr. Robertson’s report falls woefully short of the actual truth, but the way the International Crimes Tribunal represented in Mr. Robertson intricately detailed report is laughable indeed. Among claims that the report is “independent” Mr. Robertson himself has stated that

“I was approached in March 2014 by Toby Cadman, one of the English barristers who had been advising the defence (necessarily, from abroad) and asked to review all the cases concluded so far and to provide an independent opinion on their fairness and on the Tribunal’s proceedings and conduct”.

As such it is there for a person with even average knowledge on the subject, to decide whether Mr. Robertson’s claims of an “independent” are justified in the end or not. It most certainly is not in the eyes of the ICRF after this confession from Mr. Robertson himself.

But even so, the most astonishing of claims made by Mr. Robertson though, is his belief, that the Liberation War of 1971 in Bangladesh was actually a “civil war”, which the ICRF believes to be an attempt to taint the history of Bangladesh. Bangladesh is and has been an independent state from the 26th of March 1971, right through the Great Liberation War of 1971 and its many trials and tribulations, after which Bangladesh gained its freedom. It was fought against the atavistic Pakistani army and their savage group of collaborators. Hence this branding of the ’71 Liberation war as a “civil war” is a clear act of disrespect towards the history of Bangladesh. Thus it is against this act of derogation, does the ICRF expresses the deepest of regrets, disbelief and vehement disapproval, as it bids to respond to Mr. Robertson’s claims. The ICRF plans to publish their full rebuttal following Mr. Robertson’s report in due time.

The ICRF believes the report to be a completely one-sided one with the aims and motives behind it to be of a questionable nature. The report is almost a mirror reflection, if not an extended version of the immoral claims made by the accused vis-à-vis their lawyers, various lobbyist or campaigners throughout these past few years, as the tribunal went about its business.

This 126 page report demonstrates little or a negligible amount of knowledge of Bangladesh’s history on the writer’s part, and frankly the comments made on an already settled issue such as retrospective law, mingled with the current tribunal’s contemporary affairs is farcical and the arguments presented are flimsy, to the surprise and disappointment of the ICRF.

Again, as stated above the report seems to be inspired and conceived form the viewpoint of the accused and their group of campaigners, and as such the ICRF condemns and boycotts all claims made in the report to the fullest extent of the words. Furthermore, the ICRF remains dejected over Mr. Robertson’s comments on an unsettled and unproven matter such as the Skype controversy no less as an attempt to destabilize and consequently strangle and choke the justice system of Bangladesh.

It is in fact a violation of ethical norms to quote from an unethically obtained conversation such as the one between Mr. Ziauddin and Mr Haque, a world renowned and revered Law professor and an honourable Justice of Bangladesh Supreme Court respectively without establishing whether it was indeed Mr Uddin & Mr Haque who had the conversation over Skype, a matter yet to be proven and settled in court. Using a source as unreliable and unproven as the so called Skype “conversation” and indeed Wikileaks afterwards, a source which is recognized globally as an unethical and illegal source of information, Mr. Robertson has tried to state his case which the ICRF believes questions the credibility of this 126 page report of his.

The ICRF’s hopes that this report is currently under the scrutiny of the Bangladeshi government and also hopes that they will consider any legal actions necessary to condemn Mr. Robertson’s derisive and contemptuous remarks on the history of Bangladesh and its judiciary system.

International Crimes Research Foundation [ICRF]
18th February 2015

Attached: Mr. Geoffrey Robertson’s Report on ICTBD