The High Court on Thursday ordered Toufique Imrose Khalidi, editor-in-chief of online news portal bdnews24.com, not to leave the country without permission on or before HC's December 1 verdict on a petition challenging his bail in a corruption case.
The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat Lizu passed the order after hearing the rule issued.
On December 8, 2020, the HC issued a rule asking the state and Khalidi to explain in 10 days why the lower court order that granted him bail in the corruption case should not be scrapped.
A Special Court in Dhaka on October 20, 2020, granted bail to Khalidi until November 25 of that year upon his surrender, and on November 25, the court granted him permanent bail in the case.
The Anti-Corruption Commission then filed a revision petition with the High Court against the Special Court order that granted him permanent bail. After hearing the petition, the court on December 8 issued the ruling.
Lawyer Shahriar Biplob appeared in the court hearing on behalf of Khalidi, while lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan argued for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
The ACC filed a case against him on July 30, 2020, on the charge of amassing wealth beyond his sources of income.
The case alleged that Khalidi deposited Tk 420 million into different bank accounts after receiving the money “through fraud [and] in an illegal way by creating fake documents”.
But the ACC case dossier said that the money came through the sale of company shares owned by bdnews24.com and Khalidi, and it was indeed the same money deposited in the accounts of four banks.
Khalidi, who consistently denies the allegation of corruption, told the media at the beginning of the ACC investigation that bdnews24.com published reports that “hurt a very powerful lobby” and are “paying the price” for what he believes is good, exemplary journalism done by his colleagues.