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Friday, 16 May 2008

GATCO case

MK Anwar, M Shamsul Islam seek anticipatory bail

A Dhaka court Thursday passed an arrest warrant for 12 "fugitives" in the GATCO scam case, reports bdnews24.com.

Former ministers M Saifur Rahman, Motiur Rahman Nizami, Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, M Shamsul Islam, MK Anwar and Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury were among them.

Metropolitan senior special judge Md Azizul Hoque passed the order.

Mohammad Zahirul Huda, deputy director of the Anticorruption Commission and investigating officer of the case, submitted a chargesheet against former prime minister Khaleda Zia and 24 others to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court for Dhaka Tuesday.  

The chargesheet was transferred to the court of judge Md Azizul Hoque Wednesday.

Joint forces arrested Khaleda and her son Arafat Rahman Coco with ties to the case on Sept 3 last year.

Khaleda and other accused behind bars have been asked to appear in court on May 22.

The ACC filed the case on Sept 2 with Tejgaon Police Station against 13 people alleging that GATCO's contract to run the container depot at Chittagong Port was illegal.

The case was brought under the emergency powers rules on Sept 17.

The case record shows that a tender was floated on March 1, 2003 to appoint a contractor for the container depots at Chittagong Port and Kamalapur Rail station.

The accused awarded the contract to GATCO although the company failed to meet all the conditions.

It is also alleged that the government incurred more than Tk 1,000 crore in losses because of the GATCO deal.
Meanwhile,  MK Anwar and M Shamsul Islam, two of the 12 "fugitives" in the GATCO graft case, submitted appeals with the High Court seeking anticipatory bail Thursday, reports bdnews24.com.

The lawyers of the two bail petitioners tried to arrange hearing on the petitions Thursday; but a particular bench said it would not accept any petition seeking anticipatory bail while another said they accept such petitions for hearing on Sunday.

The court has issued arrest warrants against 12 accused in GATCO case, including former ministers M Saifur Rahman, Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, Motiur Rahman Nizamt, M Shamsul Islam and Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury and also ordered confiscation of their assets.  

Judge Azizul Haque of Metropolitan Senior Special Judge's Court handed down the verdict at 10 am.

Noor Alam, assistant record keeper of the concerned court told bdnews24.com that the court simultaneously ordered the police to produce the detained accused in the court on May 22 and submit report in the court if the fugitive accused could be arrested by then.

The Anticorruption Commission on May 13 pressed charges against detained former premier Khaleda Zia, her younger son Arafat Rahman Coco, Nizami and 22 others in the GATCO graft case.

As accused former shipping minister Akbar Hossain died, it has been suggested that his name may be dropped from the chargesheet.

The chargesheet showed 12 of the accused including M Saifur Rahman, Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, M Shamsul Islam, MK Anwar, Ameer Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury and Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami absconding

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