Monday, July 16, 2018 01:07:50 AM
The Anti Corruption Commission's (ACC's) investigation into the much-talked-about Padma Bridge graft case has hit a roadblock as it is unlikely to be able to collect substantial information from the Canadian authorities until the trial facing by some graft suspects completes there.
The anti-graft body filed a case on December 17, 2012 against seven people for their alleged involvement in the Padma Bridge project graft dropping the names of key suspects former Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain and former State Minister for Foreign Affairs Abul Hasan Chowdhury.
The ACC, meanwhile, completed the much-sought investigation into the graft case on Bangladesh side last year, but it is still waiting to see the completion of trial of the Canadian court and receive evidence, including Ramesh's diary, from the Canadian authorities to initiate the investigation on Canadian side, said sources at the Commission.
Ramesh Shah, a Bangladeshi origin Canadian national and one of the key graft suspects, reportedly mentioned in his diary that four percent will be given to former Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain in hiring consultant for the giant Padma Bridge project.
Earlier, a case was filed with a court in Canada in connection with the Padma Bridge graft and its hearing continues there. The hearing in Canadian court began in April 2013.
On May 20 in 2013, a two-member ACC team - its chief legal adviser, Advocate Anisul Huq and deputy director Mirza Zahidul Alam - went to Canada to be present at hearing of the Canadian court and collect evidence. Later, in November 2013, Advocate Anisul Huq went to Canada to collect information and documents related to the Padma Bridge corruption conspiracy case.
During their visits to Canada, the ACC tried to collect the copy of Ramesh's diary and interrogate Mohammad Ismail, Ramesh Shah and Kevin Wallace (three key graft suspects facing trial in Canadian court), but the ACC failed to do so, the ACC sources said.
They also met the authorities of the Department of Justice of the Canadian government and sought documents. The authorities declined to provide information as the Canadian court is hearing a case related to Padma Bridge graft. But, the authorities of the Department of Justice assured their Bangladesh counterpart of providing documents after the disposal of the case.
"We couldn't interrogate Ismail, Ramesh and Kevin Wallace as their lawyers didn't agree to quiz them," Law Minister Advocate Anisul Huq, also a former ACC legal adviser, told UNB.
The Law Minister said he has already handed over all the documents (collected during the visits to Canada) to the ACC since he is no more with the national graft watchdog.
"We collected the certified copies of the witnesses' statements taken in Canadian court and the documents were handed over the ACC…now it can start investigation," Anisul Huq said.
Asked whether the documents collected by the ACC are enough to prepare a charge-sheet of the Padma bridge graft case, the former ACC legal adviser declined to make any comment.
The ACC sources said if the Canadian court can dispose of the Padma graft case soon, the ACC will be able to prepare the charge-sheet collecting documents from the Canadian authorities.
"If the ACC can collect the copy of Ramesh's diary and interrogate Ismail, Ramesh and Kevin Wallace, everything will be clear," a senior official at the ACC told UNB wishing anonymity.
ACC commissioner M Shahabuddin is, however, hopeful of submitting charge-sheet in the case within a couple of months as the graft watchdog collected some important documents through its own sources from the Canadian authorities.
About Abu l Hossain's involvement in the alleged graft conspiracy, Anisul Huq said the World Bank had brought a graft accused from Bangladesh to Canada assuring him that he would not be named in the Padma graft case and took his confessional statement. "The man who gave confessional statement in Canada did not mention the name of the former Communications Minister," he added.
The accused in the Padma bridge graft case are former secretary of Bridge Division Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan (now member of Privatization Board), superintendent engineer (river control) of Bangladesh Bridge Authority Kazi M Ferdous, executing engineer (bridge construction and maintenance) of Roads and Highways Department M Riaz Ahmed Zaber, deputy managing director of Engineer and Planning Consultant Limited Mohammad Mustafa, former director (international project division) of SNC LavalinInc Mohammad Ismail, former vice president (international project division) of SNC Lavalin Ramesh Shah and former vice-president of SNC Lavalin Kevin Wallace.
SNC Lavalin is a Canadian consultancy firm, which participated in bidding process in getting work in the Padma Bridge project.
However, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has already laid charges against former State Minister Abul Hasan Chowdhury over the alleged corruption in the Padma bridge project.
ONCE again, the activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday assaulted some students and teachers of Dhaka University to foil their human chain programme at Central Shaheed Minar demanding release of three quota reformists. The reformist leaders Jashim and Moshiur were shown arrested in a case filed for the attack ...
AFP, Seoul :North Korean and US military officials met at the inter-Korea border Sunday to discuss repatriation of the remains of American troops killed during the Korean War, a report said.Returning the remains of the US soldiers who perished during the 1950-53 conflict was part of a deal signed by ...
Serena Williams was reduced to tears by her daughter Olympia's first steps at Wimbledon, but now the seven-time champion is planning a giant leap of her own in Saturday's final against Angelique Kerber.Just 10 months after giving birth, Williams can complete an incredible comeback as she bids to become the ...
The Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on Monday claimed that a secret deal has signed between the United Nations and Myanmar over repatriation of Rohingyas staying in Bangladesh. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Myanmar government and UN's two offices -- UNDP and UNHCR. TIB somehow seems not happy ...
Reuters, Washington :A White House official who supported higher numbers of refugee admissions to the United States and clashed with immigration hard-liners in the Trump administration left her position on Thursday, two U.S. officials with knowledge of the departure said.Jennifer Arangio, a senior director at the White House National Security ...
Three years after her last release Dilwale, Kajol is all set to return to the big screen after with Pradeep Sarkar's Helicopter Eela. The actress will be seen playing a possessive mother in the film. She gives up her dream of becoming a singer to raise her only child. Her ...
A BRITISH parliamentarian, lawyer and also the counsel for jailed opposition leader Khaleda Zia, Alex Carlile was denied entry to India as he wanted to address a press conference at a meeting of a human rights body in Delhi.While explaining the entry rejection, the Indian Foreign Ministry sources said Carlile's ...
Looks like the rivalry between Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra is not going to stop anytime soon. The oldest competitors who started off their career in a similar manner post receiving the title of Miss World have found another medium to compete. After spreading their magic on International grounds, ...
AFP, London :US President Donald Trump launched an extraordinary attack on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit strategy, plunging the transatlantic "special relationship" to a new low as they prepared to meet Friday on the second day of his tumultuous trip to Britain.In an interview conducted before he began his visit, ...
WE became very happy when American company Excelerate Energy's Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) 'Excellence' arrived at Moheshkhali deep sea on April 23 bringing 0.65 million tone liquid gas from Qatar. The $180 million project was co-developed by Petrobangla, Excelerate Energy and the International Finance Corporation, a member of ...