BNP Senior Vice Chairman Tarique Rahman can secure bail if he surrenders to the trial court in the money laundering case following the High Court order.
Law Minister Anisul Haque made the disclosure to the journalists after the meeting with British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Gibson at his secretariat on Tuesday afternoon
“It is Tarique Rahman’s own matter whether he will surrender or not but he can get bail after surrendering to the trial court in a money laundering case,” Anisul said.
On Sunday, the High Court ordered BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman to surrender before the Dhaka court that acquitted him in a Tk20 crore money laundering case.
The High Court bench of Justice Nizamul Huq and Justice Md Jahangir Hossain passed the order, accepting the appeal for hearing filed on December 5 by the Anti-Corruption Commission for convicting BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s elder son. The bench also directed the trial court to release Tarique after his surrender subject to its own satisfaction.
However, Khurshid Alam Khan, the ACC counsel, told the reporters: “The High Court ordered the trial court to grant bail to Tarique when he surrenders, as there are many verdicts of the Appellate Division that ruled that if a person gets acquittal, the trial court must give them bail.”
He said notice of the order would be sent to the trial court and the residence of Tarique. But the High Court did not specify the exact date by which the BNP leader would have to surrender, he added.
Khurshid said: “After receiving a notice from the lower court that acquitted Tarique on November 17 last year will send all documents of the case to the concerned section of the High Court. Then the section will scrutinise the documents. After that the paper book of the money laundering case will be prepared.”
In replying to a question, he said he did not know how much time would be required to complete the procedure.
During the order, Tarique’s lawyer AJ Mohammad Ali asked the court not to give the order to surrender, to which the court replied that according to law, when it admits an appeal for hearing, the acquitted person has to surrender before the trial court.
On Thursday, the High Court started hearing on whether it could accept the appeal for hearing, and adjourned the case to Sunday. In the hearing, the ACC counsel said if the trial court had considered the witnesses properly, the result of the case would have changed. He told the High Court that the lower court had wrongly interpreted the definition of money laundering.
The trial was concluded in absence of Tarique. The court sentenced Tarique’s friend Giasuddin Al Mamun to seven years’ imprisonment and fined him Tk40 crore.