A Dhaka court on Tuesday acquitted acting Editor of the daily Amar Desh Mahmudur Rahman and two others of a defamation charge.
Towfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, energy adviser to the prime minister, filed the case against the three on January 19, 2010 on charge of tarnishing the image of the adviser and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s son Sajeeb Wazed Joy through publishing a news item.
Apart from the editor, publisher of the daily Alhaj Mohammad Hasmat Ali and reporter M Abdullah were made accused in the case.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Alamgir Hossain Raj passed the acquittal order as the complainant of the case remained absent at the court for the seventh consecutive day.
The plaintiff, in his complaint, said the accused published a false news item linking him and Joy in the December 17, 2009 issue of the daily newspaper.
According to the report, Towfiq and Joy took a five-million-dollar bribe from American oil company Chevron promising them to award an oil exploration order.
The news blemished the complainant’s reputation in and outside the country as well, Elahi said.
The news was published with an intention to tarnish the image of the government as well as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her son Joy, he said.
The accused including Mahmudur earlier got bail in the case but he is now in jail in a sedition case filed for running an online conversation between Justice Nizamul Haque, former chairman of International Crimes Tribunal-1 (ICT) and an international crimes law expert.
So far, over 45 cases were filed against Mahmudur on different charges.