Khaleda Zia’s appeal to scrap indictment rejected

Khaleda Zia’s appeal to scrap indictment rejected
Updated 23 April 2014

Khaleda Zia’s appeal to scrap indictment rejected

Khaleda Zia’s appeal to scrap indictment rejected

DHAKA: A top Bangladesh court ruled Wednesday opposition leader Khaleda Zia’s trial over embezzlement charges should go ahead in a case that could see her jailed for life, a prosecutor said.
The High Court rejected the former two-time premier’s bid to quash the trial which had been scheduled to start in a lower court this week after she was indicted on charges of embezzling more than $650,000.
“Both her appeals have been rejected. There is no bar to continue her trial in the two cases,” deputy attorney general Mohammad Selim told AFP.
Zia’s lawyers have called the charges politically motivated, aimed at destroying her Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which has vowed to topple the government of arch rival Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Zia was indicted just weeks after Hasina was re-elected in a Jan. 5 general election which the center-right BNP and its 18 opposition allies boycotted and denounced as a farce.
Police detained thousands of opposition officials and supporters and charged many more during and after the election, which was the bloodiest in the country’s short history.
Zia’s lawyer Sanaullah Miah said he would now lodge an appeal in the Supreme Court, in a final attempt to stop the trial from going ahead in a special anti-corruption court in Dhaka.
“It is now clear that the government wants to put Zia in jail. That’s why we are not getting any justice in any court,” he told AFP.
The trial had been scheduled to start on Monday but was adjourned until after the two-judge bench of the High Court had ruled on the appeal.
Selim said the prosecution has “strong cases” against Zia and there was little chance of the defense succeeding in getting the trial halted.


France targets mosques in extremism crackdown

Updated 03 December 2020

France targets mosques in extremism crackdown

France targets mosques in extremism crackdown
  • Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said that if any of the 76 prayer halls inspected were found to promote extremism they would be closed down
  • Inspections are part of France’s response to two attacks — the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty and the killing of three people in a Nice church

PARIS: French authorities will inspect dozens of mosques and prayer halls suspected of radical teachings starting Thursday as part of a crackdown on extremists following a spate of attacks, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said.

Darmanin told RTL radio that if any of the 76 prayer halls inspected was found to promote extremism they would be closed down.

The inspections are part of the government’s response to two brutal recent attacks that shocked France — the October 16 beheading of a teacher who showed his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad and the stabbing to death of three people in a church in Nice on October 29.

Darmanin did not reveal which places of worship would be inspected. In a note he sent to regional security chiefs, seen by AFP, he cites 16 addresses in the Paris region and 60 others around the country.

On Twitter Wednesday he said the mosques were suspected of “separatism” — a term President Emmanuel Macron has used to describe ultraconservative Muslims closing themselves off from French society by, for example, enrolling their children in underground schools or forcing young girls to wear the Muslim headscarf.

The rightwing minister told RTL the fact that only a fraction of the around 2,600 Muslim places of worship in France were suspected of peddling radical theories showed “we are far from a situation of widespread radicalization.”

“Nearly all Muslims in France respect the laws of the Republic and are hurt by that (radicalization),” he said.
The killing of teacher Samuel Paty, who had shown his pupils cartoons of Mohammad in a class on free speech, at a school outside Paris sent shockwaves through France, where it was seen as an attack on the republic itself.

In the aftermath of his murder the authorities raided dozens of associations, sports groups and charities suspected of promoting extremism.
They also ordered the temporary closure of a large mosque in the Paris suburb of Pantin that had shared a vitriolic video lambasting Paty.

The government has also announced plans to step up the deportations of illegal migrants on radicalization watchlists.
Darmanin said that 66 of 231 foreigners on a watchlist had been expelled, around 50 others had been put in migrant detention centers and a further 30 had been placed under house arrest.

The minister announced the latest clampdown after receiving fierce criticism for pushing a bill that would make it harder to document police brutality.

Images of officers beating up black music producer Michel Zecler in his studio brought tens of thousands of people onto the streets last weekend against Darmanin’s push to restrict the filming of the police in the new bill.
MPs from Macron’s ruling Republic on the Move party have since announced plans to rewrite the legislation.