A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced Harunur Rashid, BNP lawmaker in Chapainawabganj-3, to five years’ imprisonment in a case filed for tax evasion during the import of a luxury car.
The tax was dodged by abusing the MPs’ duty-free car import facilities, according to the case statement.
The court also sentenced Enayetur Rahman Bappi, former managing director of NTV, to two years’ imprisonment while Istiaq Sadek, owner of Sky Autos, was sent to jail for three years in the same case.
Harun was fined Tk 50 lakh, in default of which he will have serve six more months in jail, while Enayet was fined Tk one lakh, in default of which he will suffer two more months in jail. Istiaq was fined Tk 40 lakh and will have to serve six more months in jail if he fails to pay the amount.
Judge Shaikh Nazmul Alam of Dhaka’s Special Judge Court-4 handed down the verdict in the presence of Harun after rejecting his bail plea, while the other two are on the run.
The punishment of the fugitives will be effective from the day of their arrest or surrender, the judge said.
After cross-examination of all 12 prosecution witnesses, the judge handed down the sentences. He also gave directives that said Enayet’s vehicle should be handed over to the government. Judge Shaikh Nazmul also said the period during which the accused were in custody prior to the conviction shall be deducted from the period of their jail terms.
Sub-Inspector Md Yunus Ali of Tejgaon police station filed the case against them with Pallabi police station on March 17, 2007.
According to the prosecution, it was alleged that MP Harun bought a Hummer Jeep on April 25, 2005, using his duty-free facilities and sold it to Istiaq, violating his bond made to parliament that he would use it for at least three years before handing it over to anyone else.
Istiaq later sold it to Enayet.
During the army-led caretaker government, all the three were arrested on charges of the offences and later they were released on bail.