Tarique, Babar 'helped' bid to cover up murder | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 07, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 07, 2008

Bashundhara Director Killing, Bribery

Tarique, Babar 'helped' bid to cover up murder

ACC charge sheet also includes ex-MP Saleemul Huq, Shah Alam, his two sons


From left: Lutfozzaman Babar, Tarique Rahman and Qazi Saleemul Huq

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against former prime minister Khaleda Zia's son Tarique Rahman, former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar and six others of Tk 21-crore bribery involving the murder of a Bashundhara Group director.
Former BNP lawmaker Qazi Saleemul Huq Kamal, Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan alias Shah Alam and his two sons Shafiat Sobhan Sanvir and Sadaat Sobhan, Director of East West Property Development Pvt Ltd Abu Sufian and Tarique's personal secretary Mia Nur Uddin Apu are the other charge-sheeted accused.
The anti-graft body said the eight were involved in receiving and giving the bribe to ensure that Sanvir did not have to face charges of killing Humayun Kabir Sabbir, a director of Bashundhara Group.
Sabbir's body was found outside a building in Bashundhara residential area on July 5, 2006.
ACC Deputy Assistant Director Rupak Kumar Saha, who is also the investigation officer (IO) of the case, submitted the charge sheet to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's (CMM) Court in Dhaka, showing 28 people as prosecution witnesses.
On receipt, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Golam Rabbani sent the case dossier to the Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court for taking the charges into cognisance and beginning the trial.
Of those accused, Tarique, also the senior joint secretary general of BNP, Babar and Sufian are behind bars while the others are still at large.
Though detained on other charges, the three were later shown arrested in the case.
The IO said the accused should be brought to trial as the charges against them have been proved primarily. He appealed the court to issue warrants for the arrest of those on the run and order attachment of their properties.
On October 4 last year, ACC Deputy Assistant Director Abul Kashem filed the bribery case with Ramna Police Station, accusing six including Babar.
Tarique and Saleemul were named as the other two defendants after investigation found their involvement.
The ACC approved the charge sheet on April 23. The charges were made under sections 161,165 and 165(kha) of the penal code and 5(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act 1947.
Out of the Tk 21 crore bribe given by Shah Alam, Tarique had received Tk 1 crore in cash, according to case details.
Babar was paid Tk 6 crore in cash and Tk 14 crore in cheques and pay orders. He had deposited the money in an account with the Prime Bank.
Saleemul Huq, who was the chairman of the bank at that time, was charged with keeping the ill-gotten money in his account and drawing Tk 88 lakh as interest against the sum.
Babar received the amount at different times between August 7 and September 13, 2006.
Abu Sufian arranged meetings between Babar, Tarique and Shah Alam at Babar's official residence on Bailey Road on August 7 and 8.
At first, Babar had demanded Tk 100 crore to spare the Bashundhara Group chairman's son from facing murder charges. But after negotiations, the amount was fixed at Tk 50 crore.
A few days later, Shah Alam sent Tk 1 crore to Tarique via Apu. Payments of the remaining Tk 20 crore were made through Sufian.
The transaction, however, was stopped with the changeover of government in October, 2006.
Then after the present caretaker government launched the anti-graft drive, Saleemul had tried to get off the hook by surrendering the money to the national exchequer.
Tarique was arrested on March 7 last year on extortion charges. Besides yesterday's, formal charges have been laid against him for extortion, amassing assets illegally and concealing wealth information to the ACC.
Babar was arrested on May 29 last year and was later convicted of possessing illegal firearms and ammunition. He was shown arrested also in a case filed for making a fortune through illegal means.
NIKO CASE
The Niko graft case against detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia, former law minister Moudud Ahmed and nine others might be sent today to the Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court in Dhaka for trial.

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