Probe report placed to ACC
The investigation report of the Niko graft case filed against former premier and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina and six others was submitted to the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday.
The report recommended adding two more people as accused in the first information report (FIR), sources said.
Hasina, now undergoing treatment at Square Hospital, is the main accused in the FIR.
Hasina on March 13 refused to receive a letter sent to her by the investigation officer (IO) of the case, ACC's SM Sabbir Hasan, without consulting her lawyers. The letter gave her five days to give statement on her defence, sources said.
Sources in the ACC said the report recommended two mid-level officers from Petrobangla and Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration Company (Bapex) be added to the list of accused in the case. Their names were not disclosed.
"As far as I know Sheikh Hasina has not replied to the ACC letter asking for her statement," ACC Director General (admin) Hanif Iqbal said during a routine press briefing yesterday.
The ACC has also issued similar letters to other accused in the case.
Four of the accused have already submitted statements in their defence, the IO said adding that Rafiqul Islam and Dr Towfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury asked for more time but their pleas were rejected.
The accused who submitted statements are former principal secretary to the Prime Minister's Office SA Samad, former energy secretary M Akmal Hossain, former Petrobangla chairman Mosharraf Hossain and Vice-president (South Asia) of Niko Kashem Sharif.
ACC Deputy Director Sabbir Hasan filed the case on December 9 last year with Tejgaon Police Station accusing them of causing a loss of over Tk 13,630 crore to the public exchequer by initiating a gas exploration deal with Canadian company Niko Resources Ltd.