The cyber tribunal in Dhaka today framed charges against photojournalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol in three cases filed under the Digital Security Act (DSA).
Judge Ash Sams Joglul Hossain of the Dhaka Cyber Tribunal fixed 2 January for the formal trial to begin with the deposition of witnesses.
Journalist Kajol, now on bail, pleaded innocence and demanded justice.
Earlier, the hearing on charge framing in the cases was scheduled to be held on 21 October. As the judge of the tribunal Ash Sams Joglul Hossain was on leave, acting judge Iqbal Hossain fixed 8 November for the hearing.
Kajol went missing on 10 March, 2020, a day after Magura-1 MP Saifuzzaman Shikhor filed a case against him and 31 others, including Manab Zamin Editor Matiur Rahman Chowdhury.
They were sued under the DSA for publishing and sharing an article on social media about expelled Jubo Mohila League leader Shamima Noor Papia.
Two other cases were filed against Kajol at Kamrangir Char and Hazaribagh police stations under the same act on March 10 and 11 last year.
After his 53 days of disappearance, Kajol was detained by Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) near the Benapole border on 3 May,2020 and produced in a Jashore court on the same day.
Although the court granted him bail in the case, he was sent to jail as Kotwali police brought another charge against him under Section 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
On 19 October, 2020, the High Court issued a rule asking the government to explain why photojournalist Kajol should not be granted bail in the case filed at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Police Station.
On 24 November, 2020, the photojournalist secured bail in another case filed against him under the DSA.
On 17 December, that year, the High Court granted him bail in two cases filed under the DSA, clearing the way for his release.
He was freed from Dhaka Central Jail on 25 December last year.