Corruption evidence against Zia, says anti-graft body

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DHAKA - Bangladesh’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has claimed to have found “convincing” evidence to prove graft charges against former prime minister Khaleda Zia but not against her two sons who are now in exile.

Indications that she might be booked by the ACC came on the day Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) announced a series of agitations against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government that evicted her from her home earlier this month.

The government Nov 14 evicted Zia from the house that she has lived in since 1972.

A nationwide general strike for Nov 30 to “save the country’s sovereignty and to uphold the fundamental rights of the people” was announced by BNP secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain, New Age newspaper said Tuesday.

ACC says it has found evidence of “fake sources of funds” for establishing Zia Charitable Trust, in the memory of Zia’s husband and slain former president Ziaur Rahman.

Funds spent on the establishment of the Trust came from unknown and fake sources, a commission official told The Daily Star.

The probe did not find any involvement of Khaleda’s sons Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman Koko, also arraigned for corruption. They are currently exiled in London and Bangkok respectively, and under medical care.

In another case before the ACC, investigators have found “lack of diligence” on the part of then prime minister Khaleda Zia in the allocation of Tk one billion ($14.22 million) for construction of a bridge.

Probes into the corruption allegations against Khaleda were initiated early this year and the findings came about two months ago.

The corruption issue hit the spotlight following the growing acrimony between the ruling Awami League and opposition BNP over the evacuation of Khaleda Zia from her cantonment residence, The Daily Star said.

Filed under: Immigration, World

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