Grafts get Lobi 13 years behind bars
A special court dealing with graft cases yesterday sentenced former BNP lawmaker Ali Asghar Lobi to 10 years' rigorous and three years' simple imprisonment and fined Tk 10 lakh, in default of which he has to suffer six more months' rigorous imprisonment, in a graft case.
Lobi was one of the most influential leaders of BNP as he had close tie with former premier's son Tarique Rahman during the immediate past alliance government.
Lobi's wife Khushnud Asghar was also sentenced to three years' simple imprisonment in the same case, as she was found guilty of abetting her husband in acquiring wealth through dishonest means. The court also fined her Tk 1 lakh and in default, she will have to suffer one more month in jail.
The court also directed the government to confiscate their wealth worth Tk 24.97 crore, which is disproportionate to their known sources of income. Of the total, Tk 22.25 crore is Fixed Deposit Receipts (FDRs) with Premier Bank and Bank Al Falah.
Special Court-3 Judge Shahed Nuruddin delivered the verdict in a packed courtroom set up in the MP Hostel on the national parliament premises.
During delivery of the verdict, the judge said Lobi would have to serve 13 years in jail, as the conviction would be implemented consecutively, not concurrently.
Lobi and his wife were present in the court when the judge pronounced the verdict. Lobi was in the dock while Khushnud was sitting in a wheelchair in front of the dock since she was ill.
Earlier, the police brought Lobi to the court by a prison van from Kashimpur jail and Khushnud by an ambulance from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital.
Judge Shahed read out the order portion of the judgment after examining the investigation report, depositions of 48 witnesses, statements of the two accused and arguments of the prosecution and the defence lawyers.
The prosecution lawyers later told the media that Lobi has been convicted for three years' imprisonment under section 26(2) of the ACC Act, which says if any person submits any written statement or provides any information that is false or baseless, then that person will be sentenced to a prison term of up to three years or a fine or both.
The former lawmaker has been sentenced to 10 years' rigorous imprisonment under section 27(1) of the ACC Act according to which a person would be convicted if he or she is found to have acquired wealth through dishonest means.
Khushnud was convicted under section 109 of the Penal Code and section 27(1) of the ACC Act for abetting her husband in committing the offences.
ACC official Shirin Parveen filed the case on March 21with Gulshan Police Station against Lobi for submitting false statement about his wealth.
In the first information report, ACC Deputy Director Abu Sayeed, also the investigation officer (IO) of the case, mentioned that Lobi has Tk 22.25 crore as FDR in seven accounts with Dhanmondi branch of Premier Bank and Banani branch of Bank Al Falah.
But Lobi gave information about only Tk 7 crore in his wealth statement. The source of income of the amount as mentioned in the wealth statement was also false.
According to the ACC investigation, Lobi has wealth worth over Tk 36.67 crore. Of the total, Tk 24.97 crore is disproportionate with their known sources of income.
In their wealth statement, they concealed information about a house at Gulshan-2, which is owned by Lobi's wife, gold worth over Tk 71 lakh and a BMW car.
The ACC pressed charges against Lobi and his wife in connection with the case on June 17. The IO submitted the charge sheet to the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in the afternoon of the same day showing 34 people as prosecution witnesses.
The charges were framed on July 8.