PM influencing judiciary | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 17, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 17, 2011

PM influencing judiciary

Says BNP about cases against Tarique, Koko

Leaders of the main opposition BNP yesterday accused the prime minister of influencing the judiciary through her comment at a cabinet meeting that the proceedings of cases against Tarique and Koko should be accelerated.
The BNP leaders said this at a rally in Muktangan in the capital. The rally was organised in protest against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's comment on the cases against Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia's elder son Tarique Rahman, also BNP's senior vice-chairman, and his brother Arafat Rahman Koko.
Speaking as the chief guest BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said the way the premier gave the "instruction" is clear interference into the judiciary.
"After hearing her statements regarding the cases, we won't be wrong if we suspect that all recent verdicts in the courts were given following her [Prime Minister's] direction," he said.
"The prime minister's comment proves that the judiciary is not independent," he added.
The main opposition staged its protest programmes across the country yesterday. At least 19 opposition leaders and activists were injured as police charged batons on a procession in Jhenidah.
Earlier on April 11, Hasina at a cabinet meeting also asked the law and finance ministries and the Bangladesh Bank to expedite trial of the money laundering cases.
The premier made the directive as money laundering cases, including those against Tarique and Koko and their business partner Giasuddin Al Mamun, were losing pace.
Presiding over the protest rally, BNP's acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, "People have struggled to make the judiciary independent, but the prime minister is destroying the judiciary by choking its freedom."
Praising Tarique Rahman for contribution to the country's politics, he said Tarique went to the poor and gave them goats and poultry so that they can improve their life standard.
Another standing committee member Rafiqul Islam Miah said according to the constitution, the cabinet has no right to talk about any pending cases. The comment of the prime minister is a violation of the constitution, he added.
BNP leaders Mirza Abbas, Altaf Hossain Choudhury, Selima Rahman, Abdullah Al Noman, Amanullah Aman, Moazzem Hossain Alal, among others, addressed the rally.

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