| The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 17, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:34 AM, February 17, 2017

WB has to win back trust of Bangladesh

Says law minister

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Law Minister Anisul Huq yesterday said the World Bank must take steps to win back Bangladesh's trust.

The WB can compensate Bangladesh and take measures against its officials who had brought the false allegation against the country regarding the Padma bridge project, he said.

The minister was talking to reporters after attending as chief guest the inauguration of a training programme for the district and sessions judges at the capital's Judicial Administration Training Institute.

Nobody wants the repetition of what the WB did to Bangladesh, he said, adding that the bank should apologise to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the people of the country for its action.

In 2011, main financier World Bank raised an allegation of “corruption conspiracy” in the Padma bridge project and eventually withdrew from it. Later, Canadian police sued some top officials of SNC-Lavalin, a Canadian construction firm.

Last Friday, a Canadian court, however, dismissed the case.

Replying to a query, the minister said the agreement between Bangladesh and World Bank did not mention that legal action could be taken, in case the loan was cancelled.

He declined to comment on a recent High Court rule on the formation of an  enquiry commission to identify the people who made up “false stories” about the corruption conspiracy involving the project.

On February 15, the HC issued a suomoto ruling, asking the government to explain in two weeks why it should not be directed to form an enquiry commission to identify the “culprits who made up the false stories”.

In the rule, the court also asked the authorities to explain why they should not be ordered to bring those behind such stories to justice.

Law Secretary ASSM Zahirul Haque and JATI's Director General Justice Khondker Musa Khaled also spoke to the inaugural function.

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