A Dhaka tribunal today accepted charges against cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore and six others in a case filed under Digital Security Act, allegedly for spreading rumours and carrying out anti-government activities.
The six other accused are: Hungary-based entrepreneur Zulkarnain Saer Khan alias Sami, Swedish-Bangladeshi journalist Tasneem Khalil who runs Netra News; Minhaj Mannan Emon, managing director of BLE Securities and shareholder-director of Dhaka Stock Exchange; Didarul Islam, a member of politico-civic organisation called Rashtrachinta; Ashik Imran; and Shapan Wahed.
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Of them, Kishore, Minhaj and Didarul were earlier arrested and they are now on bail while the others are on the run.
Judge Ash Sams Joglul Hossain of Dhaka Cyber Tribunal accepted the charges after going over the case dockets and other relevant documents.
The tribunal issued arrest warrants against Sami, Tasmeem, Ashik and Shapan as they were shown “fugitives” in the charge sheet.
The Judge fixed September 30 for hearing on charge framing against the accused in the case.
Writer Mushtaq Ahmed’s name was dropped from the charge sheet as he died at Kashimpur High Security Jail on February 25.
The tribunal also relieved US-based journalist Shahed Alam; Germany-based blogger Asif Mohiuddin and Philip Schuhmacher as the IO dropped them from the charges as he did not find their involvement with the incident.
Investigation Officer Md Afchhar Ahmed, a sub-inspector of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit, on June 13 submitted the supplementary charge sheet with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court of Dhaka.
On May 6 last year, Rab-3’s Assistant Director Abu Bakar Siddique filed the case against 11 people, including Kishore, Mushtaq, Didarul and Minhaj with Ramna Police Station under the DSA.