The probe in the cases filed against Pori Moni, two models and some others has been hindered due to frequent changes in the agencies in charge of the investigation.
In a span of just a week, three investigation agencies were given charge of the cases against Pori, models Faria Mahbub Piyasha and Moriom Akter Mou, their associates Mishu Hasan, Masudul Hasan Jisan, film producer Nazrul Islam Raz and sacked Awami League leader Helena Jahangir.
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After local police, Detective Branch and the Criminal Investigation Department, the Rapid Action Battalion now wants to investigate 10 cases filed against Pori Moni, Raz, Mishu, Jisan and Helena.
A legal expert opined that the repeated change of the investigation officers will bring no progress but instead create an anomaly for the prosecution.
Speaking to The Daily Star, Commander Khandaker Al Moin, director of Rab’s legal and media wing, said they wrote to the Police Headquarters to investigate 10 cases filed against the above mentioned people.
Rab, however, did not want to investigate the cases filed against models Piasha and Mou as the DB arrested them.
The CID is now investigating seven cases filed against Pori Moni, Raz, Piasha, Mou, Mishu, Jisan and Helena.
Meanwhile, over 50 police members have been assigned to ensure actor Pori Moni’s security when she will be produced before court today after the end of her remand, according to a DMP notice.
‘INDISCIPLINE, ANOMALY…; WEAK CASES’
Speaking to The Daily Star yesterday, advocate Khurshid Alam Khan, an expert on criminal law, said such frequent changes of IOs exposes a lack of discipline and inconsistency in prosecution.
“It is apparently an anomaly on the part of the prosecution…They all are law enforcement agencies. In any case, an officer-in-charge would appoint an IO first. Then, it may change according to the investigation’s progress. It’s not lawful if any agency shows more interest to investigate a particular case.
“For example, ACC’s case — if I say I want to investigate Khaleda Zia’s case, it should not be [permitted based on] my desire. Only the ACC would decide. How can a law enforcement agency just ask for it? Discipline should be maintained.”
The lawyer said that all these cases filed in documents so far are weak.
“In newspapers, it is coming as big news. But, in documents, the base of the cases are too weak so far. If the structure is weak, it does not matter what the accused says to the DB, CID or Rab. Unless and until a magistrate records the statements, it is a futile exercise.”
Speaking to this correspondent yesterday, Sheikh Omar Faruque, additional deputy inspector general at CID, which is now investigating the cases, said he couldn’t share the progress of any investigation so far.
Asked whether the IO changes would hamper investigation, he said, “It’s a matter of policy. We don’t decide it. Before the CID, DB was investigating these cases. If the government decides to give them [the cases] to another agency, they will go there. No decision has yet been made in this regard.”
After the arrests, the two models alleged that the evidence [found against them] was planted while Pori Moni’s lawyer alleged that the seized liquor bottles were empty and kept at the house for “decoration purposes”.
However, samples of the seized items are yet to be sent for forensic tests.
Earlier, Rab and DB officials said there are specific allegations of blackmailing against the arrestees. But no cases were filed on these charges so far.
CID’s Faruque said no one has yet complained about blackmailing. “But we have names of people belonging to various professions after interrogating actress Pori Moni and models Piasha and Mou.”
Khurshid Alam Khan said, “Most of the cases were filed under the Narcotics Control Act. The cases are too weak so far. They can be punished through a mobile court. Now, if they are acquitted in the cases, it would seem that all these cases are mala fide [abuse of position] and carried out for a show.”
‘DMP MADE NO LIST’
Shafiqul Islam, commissioner of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, yesterday said the DMP did not prepare any list of people who had “close contact” with Pori Moni, Piasha or Mou.
Speaking to reporters at his office yesterday, he said a vested quarter was blackmailing businesspersons saying their names are on the law enforcers’ list of suspects.
“Panic has spread among businesspersons after the arrest of the actors and models. We do not want such panic and disgrace to affect anyone without fault. Everyone has to work responsibly so that no one becomes a victim of media trial.”