The British legal expert was scheduled to hold a press conference in New Delhi on July 13
The Indian government has denied Baron Alex Carlile, a British barrister who is a member of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's legal team, a visa days before he was scheduled to hold a press conference in New Delhi.
BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi confirmed the matter to the Dhaka Tribune on Monday.
Lord Carlile, a member of the House Lords, the upper house of the UK Parliament, is one of the UK's leading legal experts and was appointed as the BNP chief's legal consultant in March.
He was scheduled to hold a press conference along with Khaleda's legal team and members of the top brass of the BNP at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of South Asia in the Indian capital on July 13, where he was expected to discuss his client Khaleda Zia's jail sentence in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case, BNP insiders said.
The BNP had chosen Delhi as the venue since Lord Carlile had been denied entry to Bangladesh, the sources added.
On Saturday, diplomatic sources in New Delhi said Lord Carlile was likely to be denied a visa to India as the Indian High Commission in Dhaka made a strong recommendation to Delhi not to let him into the country for the press conference, UNB reported.
The diplomatic sources further said the Indian High Commission was concerned that Lord Carlile's criticism of Bangladesh's court verdicts and possible statements against the Bangladesh government on the Indian soil might affect Dhaka-Delhi relations.
The Dhaka Tribune contacted Lord Carlile via email in this regard, who said he had applied for an Indian visa, but his application had been delayed.
“Since I did not get the permission to come to Dhaka, I wanted to hold the press conference in India in order explain the complexities of Khaleda Zia’s case to the international media community,” he wrote in his reply to the Dhaka Tribune.
He further said that he was not working on Khaleda's case because of his personal support for the BNP.
“I am not doing this as a diplomat, rather as a professional who has been hired to advise Khaleda Zia’s legal team,” he added.
BNP leaders have criticized barring Lord Carlile from attending the press conference in India.
In a press conference in Dhaka on Monday, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said: “If the Indian High Commission [in London] has not given him a visa because of a strong recommendation made by the High Commission in Dhaka, then it is proven that the Indian High Commission is playing a major role in the execution of the false case against Khaleda Zia.”
The BNP leader further said: “We have asked the prime minister's ICT Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy whether the Indian High Commission in Dhaka is working as any party’s spokesperson.”