A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced Hall-Mark Group Chairman Jasmine Islam to three years' rigorous imprisonment in a case filed over her failure to submit her wealth statement to the ACC within the given time.
Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of Special Judges Court-5 passed the order in her presence.
With this, Jasmine has been convicted of corruption for the first time, said Mahmud Hossain Jahangir, one of the public prosecutors for the Anti-Corruption Commission.
The anti-graft body had filed the case with Ramna Model Police Station on December 12, 2013. In the case statement, the commission said it had served a notice on Jasmine on November 13 of the same year, asking her to submit her wealth statement within seven working days.
The deadline was later extended to December 4 on her appeal. But she failed to file the papers within that time, it said.
On October 22 in 2014, the ACC pressed charges against her in the case.
Jasmine, wife of Hall-Mark Group Managing Director Tanvir Mahmud, has been charge-sheeted in the 11 cases lodged by the ACC on October 4 of 2012 on charges of misappropriating over Tk 1,568 crore.
Trial of all the cases against 18 people, including Jasmine and Tanvir, is now running at the Special Judge Court-1 of Dhaka. Eight to 11 prosecution witnesses, including complainants of the cases, have so far given their statements.
The sum, given in cash, is part of more than Tk 2,600 crore credit that the controversial group, in connivance with some dishonest Sonali Bank officials, swindled out of the bank by using forged documents, according to ACC investigation.
In January 2013, the ACC had filed 27 other corruption cases against Jasmine, Tanvir and several others with Ramna Police Station. The ACC later pressed charges against Jasmine, Tanvir and several others and trial of all the 27 cases is now running at different Dhaka special judges' courts.
On August 12 2014, the Sonali Bank authorities filed a lawsuit against 33 people, including the Hall-Mark Group MD and some former officials of the bank's Hotel Sheraton (currently Ruposhi Bangla Hotel) branch, to realise Tk 755.44 crore.
Deputy General Manager (DGM) of the state-run bank M Abul Hossain filed the case with the court of the First Joint District Judge of Dhaka. It is now pending with the court.
On August 4 2013, Jasmine was granted bail on condition that she would pay back Tk 2,600 crore to Sonali Bank in monthly installments of Tk 100 crore. But she did not comply with the court order.
Later in response to appeals of the ACC challenging the bail order, the High Court cancelled the ruling and asked law enforcers to arrest Jasmine if she did not surrender to Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court as per the trial court order.
The CMM court sent Jasmine to jail on February 19 of 2014, hours after she had surrendered to it.
Jasmine was first arrested in Manikganj on November 7 of 2012.