ACC watching Hasan, Hossain

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Even though the Anti-Corruption Commission did not charge the two former ministers Syed Abul Hossain and Abul Hasan Chowdhury in the case over conspiracy to exchange bribes in the Padma bridge project, it has kept the duo under watch.

“The two former ministers are under ACC’s regular observation,” Commissioner Mohammad Bodiuzzaman told reporters on Thursday at ACC headquarters at the capital’s Segunbaghicha.

His remarks came three days after the ACC sued seven people, including former Bridges Division Secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan as the prime accused, in the case over the alleged irregularities in appointing the project’s consultant.

After the World Bank raised the graft allegations in the project in September last year, the ACC on Dec 17 finally sued the seven after interrogating Hossain, the former Communications Minister, and Hasan, State Minister for Foreign Affairs in 1996 Hasina government, and 27 others.

The move further overshadowed Padma bridge’s fate as the duo was not on the list of accused.

Regarding the two former ministers, the case’s FIR said the ACC could not gather sufficient evidence to establish their roles behind the conspiracy for exchanging bribes to hire Canadian construction firm SNC Lavalin as consultant of the biggest infrastructural project of Bangladesh yet.

The ACC officials, however, said the role of the duo would be examined further during investigations.

The national antigraft agency has formed an inquiry team and issued orders on Wednesday to arrest the seven accused.

Commissioner Bodiuzzaman on Thursday said the accused would be considered as ‘fugitives’ until they were arrested.

“The procedures to arrest those who are currently in the country are underway,” he added.

Meanwhile, the case’s key accused Bhuiyan moved the High Court on Thursday for an anticipatory bail while ACC officials said the move would not stop him being arrested.

ACC Deputy Director Abdullah Al Zahid had filed the case with Banani Police on Dec 17 accusing the seven.

The six other accused in the case are Superintending Engineer (River training) of the Bridge Authority Kazi Mohammad Ferdous, Roads and Highways Department Executive Engineer (Bridge Construction and Maintenance Division-4) Riaz Ahmed Zaber and four SNC-Lavalin officials.

They are Deputy Managing Director of Bangladeshi firm Engineering and Planning Consultant and Local Sub Consultant of SNC Lavalin Mohammad Mostafa, former Director of International Project Division Mohammad Ismail, former Vice-President of the International Project Division Ramesh Shah and former Vice-President and General Manager of SNC-Lavalin’s Energy & Industrial Business Unit Kevin Wallace.

Source: Bd News24

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