Jamaat-e-Islami appointed Toby Cadman as its legal counselor in London in 2011
Barrister Toby Cadman, who is well-known for his connection with Bangladesh’s Islamist political party Jamaat-e-Islami, is now representing the Indian government in a legal battle in London.
The internationally-acclaimed lawyer is making a move against a bail petition filed by Indian diamond dealer Nirav Modi, who was arrested in London, on March 19, for allegedly defrauding the Indian state bank.
Toby placed his arguments against a bail petition filed by Nirav Modi in a Westminster magistrate court on March 29.
After the hearing, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot denied bail to the Indian jewelry tycoon Nirav, who has been accused of defrauding India's state-owned Punjab National Bank of $1.8 billion.
Jamaat-e-Islami appointed Toby Cadman as its legal counselor in London in 2011, right after the ruling Awami League started the trials of several top Jaamat leaders who had been accused of war crimes during the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh.
Cadman was then involved with a law firm named 9 Bedford Row. He also made a name for himself as a specialist in international law.
In the next few years, Toby gave interviews to several international news media—including Al Jazeera, BBC, and CNN—advocating for and promoting the political ideology of Jamaat. He also highlighted Jamaat's views at different seminars and discussions.
Apart from these, Toby wrote articles and opinions on blogs trying to discredit the war crimes trials, labeling the tribunal as nothing but a kangaroo court. He even tried to come to Dhaka to represent the accused Jamaat leaders in Bangladesh's courts. However, the government rejected his arrival as foreign lawyers cannot take part in legal practices in Bangladesh.
On March 29, Toby was seen in a Westminster court asking questions as a lawyer for India. However the question remains, despite having so many expert lawyers in Britain, why did the Indian government choose Toby Cadman who has a well-established public history with Jamaat-e-Islami?
In this regard, a senior official of India's Foreign Ministry told a reporter: "I do not know much about the past history of that lawyer [Toby]. I can only make comments after a proper enquiry."
On terms of anonymity, another Indian government official said: "The Crown Prosecution Service of UK has chosen Toby for the job and the Indian government had nothing to do with it."
However, India has sent a joint team, comprised of members from Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED), to London to assist the Crown Prosecution Service regarding the case. It is not clear whether India had any objection on Toby's appointment in the case.
India has taken a strong stance against Jamaat and publicly criticized the Islamist party many times.