Bribery hurts the image of govt officials
Being senior "government officials", Khandaker Enamul Basir and Mizanur Rahman took and gave bribes, causing serious damage to the image of public servants, a Dhaka court said yesterday while delivering the verdict in a graft case against the duo.
Judge Shaikh Nazmul Alam of the Special Judge's Court-4 of Dhaka made the observation in the judgement of the case against Basir, suspended director of the Anti-Corruption Commission, and Mizanur, suspended deputy inspector general of police.
The court sentenced Basir to eight years in jail and handed Mizanur a jail sentence of three years.
It also fined Basir Tk 80 lakh and ordered him to pay the fine within six months. In default, he will have to serve six more months in jail.
The judge said the transaction of bribes astonished the nation. Mizanur bribed Basir to get rid of an inquiry launched by the ACC, he added.
The court said Mizanur was a "willing bribe giver or accomplice", and he abetted Basir give and take bribes.
The two accused were produced before the court around 11:15am yesterday before the delivery of the verdict.
Basir was jailed for three years for taking Tk 40 lakh in bribe from Mizanur and another five years for laundering the amount.
His sentences will run concurrently, said the court.
Mizanur was handed three years' imprisonment for giving the amount in bribe, the judge said, adding that he was cleared of money laundering charges in the case.
The time already spent by Mizan and Basir behind bars would be deducted from their sentences, said the judge.
Sheikh Md Fanafilya, a director of the ACC, had filed the graft case against Mizanur and Basir on July 16, 2019. Basir was arrested in the capital's Mirpur area fiver days later.
Mizanur, who was in jail in another graft case, was shown arrested in the bribery case on July 17 that year.
The graft watchdog on January 15 last year submitted the charge sheet against the two accused.
Twelve prosecution witnesses gave depositions to the court which framed charges against the accused on March 18 last year.
Basir, who was tasked with probing allegations of Mizanur's illegal wealth, was suspended on June 12, 2019 after a private television channel aired a report in which Mizanur alleged that Basir took a bribe of Tk 40 lakh from him for clearing him of a graft allegation.
Asked for comments about the verdict, Mizanur told The Daily Star on the court premises, "There are many others like Basir in the ACC.
"It has been proved in the court that I was compelled to give the bribe."
Mizanur flashed V-sign for victory while being taken back to jail.
Approached for comments, other convict Basir kept mum.