A court hearing has been held in a sedition case against four people, including Mostafa Suwag, director general (editing council) of Qatar-based television channel Al Jazeera, for spreading “false and fabricated” information about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed. At a hearing in the court of Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Shahidul Islam on Tuesday, the plaintiffs’ lawyers explained the law, saying there was no impediment to proceedings against foreigners under sections 3 and 4 of the Penal Code.
At the start of the hearing on Tuesday (February 23), the court wants to know whether a case can be filed against a foreign national in this country. In response, plaintiff’s lawyer Abdul Khaleq said that explaining sections 3 and 4 of the Penal Code, a case could be filed against a foreign national. In addition, Article 3 of the Penal Code states that any crime punishable under Bangladeshi law can be tried under domestic law even if it is outside the country. Article 4 states that citizens of Bangladesh residing abroad can also be tried under this law. He also explained the power of a magistrate to take cognizance of a case under Section 190 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Following the hearing, the judge reserved the case for an order. Later, lawyer Abdul Khaleq said, ” The court has taken our explanation positively.” Hopefully, the court will accept the case during the explanation period.
Earlier on February 17, Bangabandhu Foundation’s executive president Mashiur Malek filed the case. The next day, the court fixed February 18 for the order, but again postponed the date to February 23. The other defendants in the case are Shayer Zulkarnain alias Sami, Tasnim Khalil, editor of the Independent World Report, and David Bergman. The lawsuit alleges that Al Jazeera conspired against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed in a report titled “All the Prime Minister’s Men”. Illegally false, misleading with fabricated information, which amounts to sedition.
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