No special privilege for politicians

The public needs assurance that political connections will not be used to protect people accused of corruption 

corruption

A Dhaka court has sent the Awami League MP for Cox’s Bazar, Abdur Rahman Bodi, to jail after rejecting his plea for bail in a case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission for accumulating wealth beyond his known sources of income.

It is the court’s prerogative to determine applications for bail. While as a prominent person who voluntarily surrendered himself before the court, the lawmaker may not be a high flight risk, the court was perfectly entitled to take into account the gravity of the charges involved.

The ACC filed cases against Bodi and two other former state ministers in August after discrepancies were found between their parliamentary wealth statements and income tax returns. Subsequent enquiries into the defendant’s business affairs have raised further pertinent questions, and the ACC is reported to think he has further hidden assets worth more than Tk10 crore.

We support the court’s right to determine its own decision and believe the outcome sets a good example in the public interest.

Corruption is a major blight on our society, that harms the economy and undermines public institutions.

Over the years, there have been many other cases where investigations into allegations of corruption have become stalled or are believed not to have been undertaken, due to political influence.

For anti-corruption laws to be effective, the independence of the ACC and the courts must be paramount and fully protected. The public needs assurance that political connections will not be used to protect people accused of corruption.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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