The High Court Division on Thursday found inconsistencies between the allegation made by the Detective Branch against acclaimed photographer and right activist Shahidul Alam quoting his statements in the interview with Al Jazeera and Facebook’s live and what he actually said.
The inconsistencies became clear to the court after the case investigation of ficer showed the video footage time and again until the court was satisfied.
A bench of Justice AKM Asaduzzaman and Justice SM Mozibur Rahman, however, excluded Shahidul Alam’s bail application from day’s cause list and advised his lawyers to move it in another bench.
The inconsistencies was detected by the bench after seeing the transcript of Shahidul Alam’s interview with Al Jazeera and what he said on Facebook live during the school children’s peaceful movement for road safety.
The case investigation officer and DB inspector Arman Ali logged in Shahidul Alam’s Facebook account and showed to the bench all the postings he had made during the schoolchildren road safety movement.
The bench asked the DB officer to explain why the allegations made against Shahidul Alam in the first information report were quite different from what he said actually said, the DB officer replied that the inconsistencies occurred as he had presented Shahidul Alam’s remarks in ‘concise form.’
After a two-hour hearing when the bench asked Shahidul Alam’s lawyers to take the matter to another bench, Barrister Sara Hossain in her reaction said, ‘Where he would get justice if you can’t give the decision after seeing the inconsistencies between the FIR account and what her client had actually said in the interview with Al Jazeera and Facebook live.’
She said, ‘It’s not at all fair not to give a decision after keeping us waiting for three weeks for giving time to the attorney general on various excuses.’
Sara called it unprecedented for a bench to drop a bail application from the cause list after issuing ruling and hearing the ruling for days together.
And there is no precedence for the attorney general not to reply to the ruling, submitted Sara.
She said that there was no precedence to detain a citizen for 88 days on the basis of concocted allegation of the police which again failed to make any progress in investigations for obvious reasons.
All this, she said, tarnished the image of Bangladesh across the world.
At this point, attorney general Mahbubey Alam shouted at Sara Hossain demanding to know why she was defending a man like Shahidul Alam who committed sedition by telling a foreign TV that the government would be overthrown.
Neither the transcript nor Facebook live show that Shahidul Alam never said that the government would be overthrown.
The Supreme Court’s IT experts were called to the courtroom to help the DB investigation officer to play the transcripts of Shahidul Alam’s statements.
The bench scolded the investigation officer for his failure to play the video of the interview with Al Jazeera and the link on Facebook live for an hour.
‘What are you showing? Show us what you alleged in the case,’ the bench told him angrily.
Earlier, two other benches declined to hear Shahidul Alam’s bail application since August 27.
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