'Mysterious' Shoaib gets 7-year jail
Md Sanaul Islam Tipu

Metropolitan Session Judge Md Jahurul Islam passes the order in the morning.

A Dhaka court sentenced the Editor Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury of Bangladeshi tabloid The Weekly Blitz to seven years of rigorous imprisonment on Thursday.

Metropolitan Session Judge Md Jahurul Islam passed the order in the morning.

In its order, the court said: “Although he was facing sedition charges, Shoaib was awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment under section 505(A) of the penal code for intentionally distorting and damaging written statement.”

Earlier on November 29, 2003, police arrested him from the Zia International Airport (ZIA) under section 54 of the criminal procedure code (CrPC) while he was going to attend a seminar in Tel Aviv and filed a case against him on sedition charge.

Mohammad Abdul Hamid, the then officer-in-charge (OC) of the ZIA police station, alleged in the case that Shoaib was involved in anti-state activities such as the smuggling of information of the country abroad.

Shoaib sent an anti-Islamic script under the headline "Hello Tel Aviv" to publish in the USA Today, Washington under his title as the editor of the weekly Blitz.

He was taken in remand twice. Criminal Investigation Department of police submitted the charge sheet before the court on January 9, 2005, and the records were sent for trial in February.

Later on April 29 of the same year, he was granted bail. In the bail petition, Shoaib's lawyers said he was trying to build relation between Israel and Palestine.

They alleged the charge sheet was submitted against Shoaib without proper investigation adding there was no information of the script "Hello Tel Aviv" in the charge sheet.

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