Thursday, June 13, 2024

ACC sues Khaleda

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s chairperson, Khaleda Zia, was sued on Monday on graft charge for using undisclosed money to buy land for a charity named after her late husband.
The Anti-Corruption Commission’s assistant director, Harunur Rashid, filed the case with the Tajgaon thana, accusing Khaleda of criminal misconduct and abusing her power as the then prime minister in creating the Shahid Ziaur Rahman Charitable Trust, accumulating money from undisclosed sources and buying 42 kathas of land at Kakrail for the Trust.
Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s political secretary Haris Chowdhury, his former assistant private secretary MD Ziaul Islam (Munna), now acting director of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, and Manirul Islam Khan, Dhaka city mayor’s assistant private secretary, were also accused of helping Khaleda in committing the offence.
This is the first case filed so far against Khaleda since the ruling Awami League-led alliance assumed power on 6 January, 2009.
Khaleda was accused of committing the offence under Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1947.
According to the law, the offence is non-bailable, and if the charge is proved Khaleda may be punished with imprisonment for seven years.
The three other accused may also face similar punishment for helping her in committing the offence.
When asked whether Khaleda would be arrested, Harunur Rashid said that would depend on the decision of the ACC.
Informed sources said that the report of the inquiry into the alleged corruption was submitted to the ACC about a month ago, and it was recommended that a case be filed.
After being tossed on the horns of a dilemma for a month, the ACC on Monday approved the filing of the case.
On 24 May, 2010, the High Court issued a rule asking the ACC to explain why its notice asking Khaleda to make a statement in connection with the probe into graft allegations regarding the charity would not be declared illegal.
The ACC is yet to reply to the rule, its lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan told New Age.
The plaintiff, Harunur Rashid, said the case was filed as the High Court had not stayed the operation of the notice asking for Khaleda’s statement.
According to the complaint, Khaleda did not respond to four letters issued by the ACC asking her to make a statement about the allegations.
A 42-katha lot of land at Kakrail was bought on 19 January, 2005 for Tk 65.2 million.
But the seller, one Suraiya Khanam, received another Tk 12.5 million in addition to the amount, the complaint stated.
The extra money in the seller’s bank account came from the Trust and the Trust failed to show any valid source for that amount, it said.
According to the complaint, an account in the name of Shaheed Zia Charitable Trust was opened in the Prime Minister’s Office branch of Sonali Bank on 9 January, 2005. Around Tk 78.9 million was deposited in the account next week. The BNP contributed Tk 61.9 million, Metro Makers Developers Ltd Tk 13.5 million and Ziaul Islam Tk 2.7 million.
Apart from the money deposited by the BNP, alleged the ACC, the source of money deposited by Metro and Ziaul was not shown.
Metro’s managing director AFS Jahangir told ACC investigators that the Dhaka mayor’s APS, Manirul, used the name of his firm to deposit the money in the account.
But Monirul told the ACC that he had deposited the money given to him by Haris Chowdhury.
Ziaul said he funded the purchase of the land in response to Haris’s order.
The filing of the case against Khaleda coincided with the first-ever indictment of her eldest son, Tarique Rahman, on charge of money laundering.
Dhaka’s special judge Mohammad Mozammel Hossain on Monday framed the charges against Tarique, who is also BNP’s senior vice-chairman, in his absence and posted September 11 for the commencement of the formal trial of the case with the recording of the depositions of prosecution witnesses.
Tarique is also facing charges in two cases filed against the 21 August, 2004 grenade attack on an Awami League rally on Bangabandhu Avenue that killed 24 persons and maimed scores of others.
Dhaka’s metropolitan magistrate, Keshob Roy Chowdhury, on August 1 asked the authorities concerned to publish advertisements in two Bangla national dailies, asking Tarique and Khaleda Zia’s political secretary Haris Chowdhury and 10 others to appear before it in connection with the August 21 grenade attack.
On July 14 the Dhaka metropolitan sessions judge, Mohammad Zahurul Haque, issued warrants for the arrest of the 12 accused, including Tarique, for the grenade attack in another case filed under the Explosive Substances Act.
The metropolitan sessions judge also asked the officers-in-charge of the concerned thanas to submit their reports by August 11.
Khaleda’s youngest son Arafat Rahman was jailed for six years and fined Tk 190.41 million on June 23 for siphoning off SGD 28,84,000 and USD 9,32,000 to Singapore.
Both Tarique and Arafat have been abroad since September 2008.
On 5 August, 2009 the ACC also pressed charges against Khaleda, Tarique and four others for embezzling Tk 2.1 crore from the Zia Orphanage Trust’s fund between June 1991 and February 2007.
Harunur Rashid, who filed the Zia Orphanage Trust case on 3 July, 2008 during the regime of the military-controlled interim government, submitted the charge-sheet.
That was the lone charge-sheet submitted against Khaleda under the present government.
Khaleda is also facing at least three more cases on graft charges — GATCO graft case, Niko graft case and Barapukuria graft case.
The trials of all the cases, except the charity trust case, have been stayed by the High Court.

-With New Age input

Related News

5 magnitude earthquake jolts parts of Bangladesh

News Desk : A magnitude 5 earthquake jolted a large part of the country on Sunday (2 June) afternoon., including Dhaka. The quake struck at 2:44pm from a depth of about 110km, according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, and was centred in the Mawlaik area of Myanmar, 441 km southeast of Dhaka. The quake ... Read more

Over 2cr to be fed as daylong Vitamin ‘A’ plus campaign begins

News Desk : The National Vitamin A-plus campaign is being conducted with a target to feed the capsules to over 2.22 crore children, aged between six months and 59 months. The campaign started at 8am on Saturday (June 1) and will continue till 4pm. Feeding Vitamin A capsules prevents blindness in children, ensures normal ... Read more

Postponed notice fake, HSC exams on June 30 as per schedule

News Desk : The Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent exams will be held on time as per previous announcement, beginning on 30 June. The routine deferring the exams for a month that is making rounds in social media, is fake, the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Dhaka said on Saturday. A circular ... Read more

3 month-long ban on fishing, tourism in Sundarbans begins

News Desk : The forest department has imposed this three-month ban on fishing and tourism in the Sundarbans. Local communities, including fishermen, wood and honey collectors, who depend on the Sundarbans for their livelihoods, are concerned about a three-month ban on all activities in the forest starting Saturday. The restriction applies to visitors, including ... Read more

Appellate Division upholds HC verdict on DU teacher Samia’s demotion

News Desk : The Appellate Division today (26 May) upheld the judgement of the High Court which declared illegal the demotion order of Dhaka University faculty Samia Rahman on charges of plagiarism. A four-member appellate bench headed by senior judge M Enayetur Rahim of the Appellate Division rejected the appeal of DU as invalid. ... Read more

3.2 million children at risk as Cyclone Remal hits Bangladesh coasts: UNICEF

News Desk : As Cyclone Remal hit the coastal areas of Bangladesh, over 8.4 million people, including 3.2 million children, are at high health, nutrition, sanitation, and safety risks, according to UNICEF. ‘Our thoughts go out to the children and their families at this critical moment as they endure the storm’s impact,’ said UNICEF ... Read more

Classes suspended at coastal area schools due to cyclone

News Desk : No classes will be held at schools in the coastal areas due to Cyclone Remal, said State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Mohibur Rahman. He said this after a meeting of the inter-ministerial disaster management coordination committee at the Secretariat on Sunday. According to a bulletin of the Met Office, ... Read more

Cyclone Remal forms over Bay, signal 7 at Payra and Mongla

News Desk : The deep depression over the east and west central Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm “Remal” at around 9:00 pm today and is expected to hit the country’s coasts between 6pm and 11:59pm tomorrow, according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD). The Met Office asked the Payra and Mongla ... Read more

Admissions for Class XI start tomorrow

News Desk : The first phase of applications for Class XI admission for the 2024–2025 academic year will begin tomorrow, May 26, and run through June 11th. According to the XI class admission circular 2024-25, the online application system is divided into three phases with designated application windows, result announcements, and confirmation periods. Students ... Read more

Exam will not be postponed for Cyclone Remal: NU

News Desk : The National University has decided not to postpone the Introduction to Government Policy exam for 4th-year Political Science honours students for the academic year 2022, despite the warning for the approaching Cyclone Remal. The exam is scheduled to be held on Sunday (26 May) at 1:00pm, the same day that the ... Read more

Gold price cut by Tk 1,084 per bhori

News Desk : The prices of gold in the country’s local market witnessed a fall on Thursday as the Bangladesh Jewellers’ Association (Bajus) slashed the price of 22-carat gold by Tk 1,084 per bhori (11.664 grammes). The new rate for the precious metal will come into effect on Friday, BAJUS said in a press ... Read more

Don’t pay anyone for visas, or work permits: Italian envoy

News Desk : Italian Ambassador to Bangladesh, Antonio Alessandro, advised visa-seekers not to pay anyone for visas, emphasising that the embassy only charges small taxes and processing fees. “Our services are free except for these official fees,” he said today (21 May) following a meeting with Shofiqur Rahman Choudhury, the State Minister for Expatriates’ ... Read more

Bangladeshi mountaineer Babar Ali conquers Everest

News Desk : Babar Ali from Chattogram has summited Mount Everest and raised the red and green flag on the world’s highest peak. He reached the summit at 8:30am local time (8:45am Bangladesh time) on Sunday, proudly raising the red and green flag of Bangladesh. He began his journey on 1 April, after necessary ... Read more

Price of gold increases by Tk1,178 per bhori

The new rate will be effective from Sunday (19 May) News Desk : The Bangladesh Jewellers Association (Bajus) today (18 May) increased the price of gold by Tk1,178 per bhori, followed by a price hike in the local bullion market. According to a Bajus statement, 22-carat gold will now cost Tk1,18,460 per bhori (11.664 ... Read more

9 Bangladeshis named in Forbes “30 Under 30 Asia” list

News Desk : Nine Bangladeshis have been named in Forbes “30 Under 30 Asia” list for their contributions across various industries. Forbes announced its prestigious “30 Under 30 Asia” list for the ninth consecutive year yesterday (15 May), showcasing 300 exceptional young individuals under the age of 30 who are making significant strides across ... Read more

SC Stays HC Verdict On Condemn Cell

News Desk : The Appellate Division on Wednesday stayed a High Court verdict that asked the jail authorities not to put death sentence inmates in the solidarity confinement before the end of all legal processes. The Appellate Division judge in chamber, Justice M Enayetur Rahim, granted the stay after hearing an appeal filed by ... Read more

BRTA to take ‘no helmet, no fuel’ policy for bikers

News Desk : Besides, no battery-run auto-rickshaws will be allowed to operate in Dhaka The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has decided to take a “no helmet, no fuel” approach for motorcycle riders across the country. Besides, no battery-run auto-rickshaws will be allowed to operate in Dhaka, according to decisions taken at a meeting ... Read more

MV Abdullah finally arrives at Ctg port

News Desk : The 23 crew members of Bangladeshi flag carrier MV Abdullah, which was recently freed from the captivity of Somali pirates, has reached the Chittagong Port today (14 May). The Chittagong Port Authority has a reception at the New Mooring Container Terminal (NCT) to welcome back the sailors. Their family members are ... Read more

JnU female student gets 5 yrs in DSA case

News Desk : A Dhaka tribunal has sentenced Tithy Sarker, a suspended student of Jagannath University, to five years imprisonment in a DSA case filed for making derogatory comments about religion on Facebook. However, it has granted her a year-long probation on eight conditions, including regular care for her aged father, following traffic rules, ... Read more

Detention in condemned cells before final disposal of the case unlawful: High Court

News Desk : The High Court (HC) has ruled that it is illegal and unlawful to detain convicts in the condemned cell (blind cell) of the prison before the death sentence is finalised by the verdict of the Supreme Court’s Appellate Division. The High Court bench of Justice Sheikh Hasan Arif and Justice Md ... Read more