Sedition case for Al Jazeera report rejected

Court Correspondent | Published: 21:05, Feb 23,2021 | Updated: 00:13, Feb 24,2021


A Dhaka court on Tuesday rejected a sedition case against four people over a recent documentary broadcast by Doha-based news channel Al Jazeera on February 1.

Dhaka metropolitan magistrate Shahidul Islam issued the order after a hearing, rejecting the case on the ground that the plaintiff did not have the authority to file the sedition case against Al Jazeera director general Mostefa Souag, British citizen David Bergman and Bangladeshi expatriates Zulkarnain Sami and Tasneem Khalil.

The judge in the order said that a review of the documents showed that the plaintiff had not been given any authority by the government to file the case. So the case was returned to the complainant, he mentioned.

Bangabandhu Foundation president Abdul Malek on Wednesday filed the case against the four people.

The plaintiff accused the four of ‘hatching a conspiracy’ against the government and damaging the image of the country by publishing a ‘false report’.

Al Jazeera on February 1 broadcast a documentary titled ‘All the Prime Minister’s Men’. The report, an hour-long film with narration, accused the Bangladesh Army chief, General Aziz Ahmed, of providing illegal supports to his brothers, convicted and fugitive, to establish and run businesses abroad, that too, with the tacit approval of the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Bangladesh Army, the home affairs minister and the ruling Awami League have, however, rejected the Al Jazeera report outright and condemned it as politically motivated ‘smear campaign’.

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