Arafat Sunny freed in girlfriend snaps case

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Arafat Sunny freed in girlfriend snaps case
Arafat Sunny.
Shukriya Pakistan

DHAKA: Bangladeshi cricketer Arafat Sunny was released on bail two months after being charged with posting intimate photos of his girlfriend on social media, his lawyers said Thursday.

Police arrested the 30-year-old cricketer in a Dhaka suburb in January after his longtime girlfriend filed a complaint under Bangladesh’s strict internet laws.

The spinner was accused of opening a fake Facebook account in her name and posting “intimate photos” which she found “offensive and defamatory”.

“Sunny was released at around 9:00 pm Wednesday,” his lawyer Murad-uz Zaman told AFP.

If found guilty, Sunny could be jailed for up to 14 years and fined 10 million taka ($125,000) under tough cyber laws that local rights groups say are being used to crackdown on dissent.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board has said that Sunny, who has played 16 one-day internationals and 10 Twenty20 internationals, could also be banned from the sport.

He was suspended from international matches during the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 for an illegal bowling action, and has been playing domestic first-class cricket since.

The 23-year-old girlfriend additionally filed a separate lawsuit against the national cricketer accusing him of seeking a dowry worth millions from her family.

Sunny has denied all the accusations, including the claim that the couple had been secretly married for more than two years.

He is the third top-tier Bangladesh cricketer to be arrested in recent years.

Paceman Rubel Hossain was jailed in 2015 after being charged in a rape case filed by an actress claiming to be his fiancé.

Fellow fast bowler Shahadat Hossain meanwhile spent nearly two months in custody last year after he and his wife were charged with torturing an 11-year-old girl they employed as a maid.

The couple were later acquitted in court.

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