Two cases filed against Daily Star editor

Staff Correspondent

At least two defamation cases were filed against the Daily Star editor Mahfuz
Anam on Tuesday over publishing reports on alleged graft by Awami League president Sheikh Hasina on the basis of unsubstantiated DGFI information during the army-controlled interim government during the 2007-08.
The cases were filed by the ruling Awami League men in Khulna and Lakshmipur.
In Lakshimipur, a leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League in Lakshmipur unit filed a defamation case against Mahfuz Anam demanding Tk 50 crore with a magistrate’s court.
Chowdhury Mahmudunnai Sohel, president of Lakshmipur unit Chhatra League, filed the case with Lakshmipur Chief Judicial Magistrates’ Court.
Sohel’s lawyer Rasel Mahmud said during the regime of military-governed interim administration in 2007-08 the Daily Star published some ‘confusing’ news about Awami League president Sheikh Hasina which hurt his client.
The daily published the news without verifying the information provided by the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence, he said.
The court accepted the case and ordered submission of probe report within a week and set March 3 for next hearing.
In Khulna, Mushfiqur Rahman, general secretary of Khulna district unit Chhatra League, lodged a case with Khulna metropolitan magistrate’s court.
Magistrate Hakim Faruque took cognizance of the case and asked the Khulna Sadar police officer-in-charge to investigate the allegation and submit a report before it in a week, Rahman’s lawyer Shah Alam said.
The complainant has claimed Tk 1 crore in compensation for defamation of Hasina, now prime minister.
The court fixed March 3 for hearing in the case.
At a panel discussion on private television channel ATN News on February 3, Mahfuz Anam admitted to his ‘biggest mistake’ in journalism and said that it was wrong of him to publish stories on allegations of corruption against top politicians fed by DGFI in 2007-08, adding that all newspapers in the country, but New Age, made the same mistake.

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