The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is preparing to file cases against 12 corruption suspects out of 15, who did not submit their wealth statements within the ACC’s stipulated timeframe last month.
ACC Commissioner Habibur Rahman yesterday confirmed this, saying that the 12 will face charges of non-submission of their wealth statements.
They are — Harris Chowdhury, political secretary to former prime minister Khaleda Zia, Giasuddin Al-Mamun, business partner of Khaleda Zia’s son Tarique Rahman, former Awami League (AL) state minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, former AL whip Mostafa Rashidi Suja, former AL MPs Shamim Osman, Moqbul Hossain, Mirza Azam and Joynal Hazari, Jubo League Chairman Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Munshiganj AL leader Mohiuddin Ahmed, Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan (Shah Alam) and former National Board of Revenue (NBR) member Zahurul Haque.
The name of three others, AL leaders and former parliament members — Abdul Hasnat Abdullah, Akhteruzzaman Chowdhury Babu and Haji Selim — were dropped as the High Court (HC) recently ordered the ACC to receive their wealth statements from their representatives.
“Although they did not follow the ACC directives, we will have to receive their wealth statements from their representatives as we cannot defy High Court order,” Habibur said in a press briefing yesterday.
On February 18, ACC asked 50 corruption suspects who are high-profile politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats, to submit their wealth statements within 72 hours. Out of the 50, those who were not in jail at that time were directed to submit their statements in person.
Seventeen of them did not submit their statement within the timeframe.
The ACC later received wealth statements from the representatives of Sylhet BNP leader Ariful Haq Chowdhury and former AL MP HBM Iqbal.
Ariful surrendered before a Sylhet court and was sent to jail and the HC directed the ACC to receive Iqbal’s wealth statement from his representatives following a writ petition filed by his family members.
After the time for submitting wealth statements expired, ACC sent a list of 15, who did not carry out the ACC orders, to the home ministry to start the process of confiscating their movable and immovable properties as per the Emergency Power Rules.
The government, however, is yet to move for confiscation.
Sources said as per the rules, government would seek permission from a magistrate to confiscate their properties.
Home ministry sources said that although it is not declared yet officially, ACC will be assigned to confiscate properties, but before that, the government will amend some provisions of the emergency power rules, including the authority for confiscation.
Family members Hasnat, Babu and Selim had filed separate writ petitions in the HC seeking permission to submit their wealth statements to the ACC through representatives and the HC ordered in their favour on Sunday.
Replying to a question, the ACC commissioner said they are not mulling appeal against the HC directives yet.
ACC Commissioner Abul Hasan Manzoor Mannan told the press on March 15 that they would file six graft cases against big corruption suspects by Sunday, but did not do that.
Habibur said they are ready to file the cases and the matter has already got the nod from Mannan, who is in charge of inquiry and investigation. “We are just waiting for formal approval of the commission.”
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