Detectives have arrested three men who they say were allegedly paid nearly Tk 25 lakh by Justice M Fazlul Huq's family to help drop graft charges against the former caretaker government adviser.
The Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police will appeal to the court on Saturday to remand Amalendu Das (50), Golam Ambia (57) and Md Nuruzzaman Iqbal (35) in custody, police assistant commissioner Nasiruddin Khan told bdnews24.com on Friday.
He said Amalendu of Shamshernagar of Kamalganj Upazila in Moulvibazar was chairman of Amalendu Foundation for Research and Study, and Spectrum Consultancy, Ambia a dismissed VAT inspector and Nuruzzaman a sacked police constable who went on to become a journalist.
Authorities in 1997 fired Ambia of Tikapara in Rajshahi city on charges of corruption while Nuruzzaman was sacked in 2003 while on deputation in the now-defunct Rapid Action Team (RAT).
Nuruzzaman joined state-run Bangladesh Television (BTV) as assistant producer.
Khandakar Toufiq who claimed himself to be a senior staff at Justice Huq's son "Afzal Huq Raj's NGO GFF" acknowledged the matter to bdnews24.com.
"I would get in touch with them on behalf of the son of Justice Fazlul Huq," said Toufiq, who is a witness in the case police have filed after the arrests.
Toufiq added the three had told Raj that they would engage some army people to get Anticorruption Commission officials drop his father's name from the charge sheet.
Nasiruddin, the assistant commissioner who led the two-day operation resulting in the arrests, said Raj had given the money in instalments to Ambia through Toufiq and Abdul Gaffar Titu, a friend.
Ambia, who hails from the former adviser's ancenstral village in Rajshahi, later brought Amalendu and Nuruzzaman onto the scene, he added.
"Using his BTV press pass, Nuruzzaman accessed classified documents from the Anticorruption Commission on Fazlul Huq's assets information," Nasiruddin said.
The official added that they had known of the deal when Huq's family had asked for a refund because the antigraft watchdog had already pressed charges against the former Supreme Court judge.
Nasiruddin said Huq's family was to file a case soon.
Ambia told bdnews24.com he would hand the money in parts to Amalendu, who he said was a friend, but the latter said he had borrowed the money.
Mahbubur Rahman, an additional deputy commissioner with the DMP's Detective Branch, told bdnews24.com that there were many other allegations of fraud against the three and that police had evidence they had made at least Tk 30 lakh in the past one year.
A duty officer at Dhanmondi police station, ASI Nasima Akhter told bdnews24.com that SI Amirul Islam had been made the investigation officer. But he would be supervised by the DB officials, she said.
Law, justice and parliamentary affairs adviser in president Iajuddin Ahmed's 2007 interim administration, Justice Huq submitted a statement detailing his Tk 1.65 crore assets on Nov 27, 2007 on a notice from the antigraft body.
He had courted controversy during his stint in the makeshift administration, with the Supreme Court Bar Association calling for his resignation three days into his taking oath to office.