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Probe opens into 'assault' on British lawyer PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 April 2008

HTML clipboard Staff Correspondent

The Bangladesh Air Force has formed a three-member high-powered committee to probe into a London-based lawyer's allegations of 'assault' by members of the joint forces at Zia International Airport, the Inter-Service Public Relations Directorate said in a statement Monday.

The High Court issued a notice Sunday on the home secretary, chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh and director general of the Department of Immigration over the alleged assaults on barrister Rezwan Hossain.

The court notice came after Supreme Court advocate Manzil Morshed presented a newspaper report on the assaults to the court, saying airport officials manhandled Rezwan, a British citizen of Bangladeshi origin, on April 14.

The court asked the lawyer to present a list of the people involved with the incident to the court. Monday's ISPR press release said Rezwan came to the airport to bid farewell to a relative on the day, entering the airport's check-in area in violation of airport rules and loitering at the check-in counter of Emirates airlines.

The barrister failed to produce valid papers or give any explanation for his presence in the area to the on-duty security officer of the civil aviation department, according to the statement. He was taken to the civil aviation authority's office at the airport where his violation of the rule was explained.

At that time the London lawyer became incensed and started using abusive words in English at the top of his voice, and even made threats, the ISPR statement said. Finding no alternative, the on-duty security officer handed Rezwan over to the joint forces, who interrogated him.

The lawyer, however, continued to avoid the issue of violating airport rules, instead trying to extract privileged treatment by mentioning his foreign citizenship and the status of his profession, the press release said. It was at this point, the ISPR statement says, that the members of the joint forces "harassed" barrister Rezwan.

The air force authorities immediately took the taskforce members into custody in accordance with military law, the ISPR directorate said. Following media reports of barrister Rezwan's allegations of assault, BAF formed the committee to investigate.

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