Dhaka: An 81-year-old prominent Bangladeshi-British editor was Tuesday released on bail on medical grounds, nearly five months after his arrest for allegedly plotting the murder of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's son.
Shafik Rehman, a former editor of vernacular daily 'Jay Jay Din', was arrested from his Dhaka residence on April 16 after the conviction by a US court for bribing a former FBI agent to get confidential information on Joy with the intent to "scare", "kidnap" and "hurt" Hasina's son Sajeeb Wazed Joy in the US. Police said during interrogation, Rehman had admitted receiving "confidential FBI documents" related to Joy.
Rehman, a former speechwriter for Khaleda Zia, the main opposition leader and the premier's arch rival, was released from Kashimpur jail on health grounds, days after the Supreme Court granted him bail.
"We have released Shafique Rehman as we received the (apex) court order," an official of Kashimpur Central Jail said as family members greeted the chartered accountant turned editor with red roses.
"He needs intensive care. We will admit him to Ibrahim Cardiac Hospital in Shahbagh," said Sajib Onafis, Rehman's family friend. His bail will expire in three months or when police submit an investigation report.
On August 16, The Independent published a report quoting Rehman's son Shumit as saying he did not expect his father to live to "see the year out". The report said that both Rehman and his wife were becoming physically ill because of the stress of his detention.
Noted for his satirical columns, Rehman will have to surrender his passport precluding any possibility of foreign travel during his bail.
On July 17, the Supreme Court allowed the journalist to file an appeal against the High Court order that rejected his bail petition in the case.