Vol. 5 Num 329 Sun. May 01, 2005  
Front Page

Sedition Case
Ex-Inqilab TV MD gets bail as PP keeps mum

A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to sacked managing director of Inqilab TV, Salauddin Shoib Chowdhury in a sedition case, while the public prosecutor (PP) did not oppose the bail petition despite being the prosecution lawyer since the filing of the case.

During a hearing on the bail petition from defence lawyers, PP Abdullah Mahmud Hassan told the court that he would have no objection as the court grants bail to the accused with proper guarantors.

Judge Mohammad Shamsul Alam Khan of the First Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court, Dhaka granted Shoib bail upon a bond of Tk one lakh with four guarantors.

In the bail order, the court said the prosecution had been delaying the process of starting the trial and that the documents submitted in support of framing charges against Shoib were not sufficient. Moreover, Shoib has been suffering from eye diseases.

Earlier, on April 2 the same court rejected the bail petition of the accused, saying the charges brought against him were primarily proved.

The prosecution then also opposed the bail petition, saying Shoib's activities had offended the religious sentiments of Muslims.

Meanwhile, a High Court Division on March 28 issued a rule upon the government to show cause within 10 days as to why Shoib would not be granted bail.

As per law, no lower court can pass any order if any rule is pending with the higher court on the same issue.

Mohammad Abdul Hanif, officer-in-charge (OC) of the Airport Police Station, filed a sedition case against Shoib with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court, Dhaka on January 24 last year.

Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Emdadul Haque directed the airport police to register a regular case after the investigation.

Shoib was arrested from Zia International Airport on November 29, 2003 for his alleged links with Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, said the OC in his complaint.

Shoib was supposed to present a paper at a Tel Aviv seminar and different fax and e-mail messages seized from his possession proved that he passed sensitive information out of the country, stated the complaint.

A project profile seeking a fund of Tk 12 crore from Jews in Israel was also seized from him. The fund was sought to publish three dailies -- the Dainik Sonali Din, Dainik Rupantar, Dainik Paribartan -- the complaint added.