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Bangladesh Supreme Court lawyer, 32 others charged with terror-financing

The crime busting RAB had arrested Farzana and two of her lawyer associates in Supreme Court on August 15 last year on charges of financing the SHB.

A Supreme Court woman lawyer was among 33 people charged on Sunday with terror-financing activities by Bangladesh’s elite anti-crime unit.

Shakila Farzana (39), was charged by the Rapid Action Battalion for allegedly funding militant outfit Shaheed Hamja Brigade with Tk 1.08 crore (USD 1,37,878)for weapon procurement.

“RAB submitted the charge sheet against Barrister Shakila Farjana and 32 others saying they are linked to [militant outfit] Shahid Hamza Brigade (SHB),” Chittagong police’s court inspector Mashiur Rahman said.

A case was filed under anti-terrorism act-2009 with the local police station this year.

Earlier Farzana and 27 others were charged with another case filed under arms act.

The development came more than a month after the Supreme Court scrapped a High Court order granting bail to Farzana and another two lawyers as investigations were underway for their alleged involvement in terror financing.

The crime busting RAB had arrested Farzana and two of her lawyer associates in Supreme Court on August 15 last year on charges of financing the SHB.

The trio, however, claimed that they had deposited the amount to an account which was taken as advance and that they were unaware of the owner of the account.

RAB said the account was owned by top SHB leader Moniruzzaman Don, who too is now in jail.

Bangladesh identified SHB only in April this year finding them active in southeastern port city of Chittagong after four of their members were arrested with weapons including five AK22 rifles.

Security officials earlier said relatively a small group SHB was formed in 2013 with a mission to stage an armed revolution against the “oppression against the Muslims” at home and abroad.

Farzana is the incumbent joint general secretary of the Supreme Court wing of Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Forum, a grouping of lawyers who support main opposition party Bangladesh Nationalist Party of ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia.

She is the daughter of a former BNP lawmaker from Chittagong during 2001—2006 tenure of the BNP—led four party coalition government with fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami being its major partner.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 12:16:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/bangladesh-supreme-court-lawyer-32-others-charged-with-terrorfinancing/article8429390.ece

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