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Dhaka Tribune

Verdict in Tarique case on November 17

Update : 14 Nov 2013, 09:55 PM

A Dhaka court on Thursday set November 17 for verdict on the money laundering case against BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman and his close friend Giasuddin Al Mamun.

Judge Md Motahar Hossain of Dhaka Special Judge’s Court-3 fixed the date in absentia of Tarique, the elder son of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, after completion of arguments between the prosecution and defence. Mamun was present on the dock.

This will be the first judgment in any case against Tarique. A total of 16 were filed against him during the army-backed caretaker government tenure. Of the cases, five are now under trial while he was acquitted in another case.

The verdict on the case is set to come in the final days of the current government’s rule when the BNP leaders and activists were hoping Tarique’s comeback to the country and politics.

His lawyer Md Sanaullah Miah alleged that the prosecution was preparing the verdict hastily against the BNP leader in the “politically motivated” case.

ACC Public Prosecutor Mosharraf Hossain Kajol, however, claimed they had proved the allegations and expecting highest punishment of seven-year imprisonment.

As the money laundering case story goes, Tarique Rahman and his friend Giasuddin Al Mamun siphoned off Tk204m to Singapore between 2003 and 2007 during the BNP-led alliance tenure.

Later Tk204.12m was brought back by Anti-Corruption Commission on July 31, 2007 and deposited with the Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of the country.

The anti-graft watchdog filed the case with Cantonment Police Station in October 2009. The trial started on July 6 in 2011.

Tarique and his friend and business partner Mamun were indicted in August last year under the Money Laundering Act 2002. An arrest warrant was issued against them.

In the case statement the plaintiff alleged that the money was taken as bribe from a businessman with the promise of bagging a tender deal. The money was deposited with a Singaporean branch of Citibank.

Tarique Rahman was arrested during the regime of a military-backed caretaker government in 2007. He secured bail in 2008 and went to London for treatment and since then he has been living in Britain with his family.

On May 26 this year, a Dhaka court cleared the way for the ACC to seek help from Interpol to arrest Tarique Rahman.

Against Tarique and Mamun, the court recorded accounts of 13 prosecution witnesses’ statements including US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Agent Debra Leprovettee, informant of the case Additional Director of Anti-corruption Commission Mohammad Ibrahim, recording officer of the case the then OC Cantonment Police Station Hosne-Ara Begum, Inspector of Detective Branch Alimuzzaman, former OC of Gulshan Police Station Kamal Uddin and Chairman of Nirman Construction Ltd Khadiza Islam.

There were five witnesses in favour of Mamun but Tarique had none.

Khadiza Islam said, her company worked as local representative of a Chinese company Harbin Power Engineering (HPE). The HPE won a tender for building an 80MW power plant in Tongi Industrial area in 2002.

But as they failed to sign an agreement even after 8 months, they finally knocked Mamun. The then premier’s son Tarique’s close friend made arrangement for agreement and Harbin paid Mamun in Singapore from China.

According to the plaintiff, from the money Mamun spent $79542.78 by a Citibank gold card while Tarique spent $54982.42. The total bribe they received was $750000.

On June 23, 2011, Tarique’s younger brother Arafat Rahman Koko was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment and fined Tk190m in another money laundering case.  

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