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TAC orders 11 to pay state Tk 5.69 crore PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 05 September 2008

Hearing continues

Staff Correspondent

The Truth and Accountability Commission after two days of hearings has ordered 11 people to deposit a total of Tk 5.69 crore to state funds.

"This is a preliminary order. The final verdict in the cases will be given after the people show proof of payment," TAC chairman justice Habibur Rahman Khan told a press briefing Wednesday.
 
The commission heard statements of seven people on Wednesday, bringing the total number of people standing before the TAC to 18 since hearings began on Monday.
 
Eight more are scheduled to be heard on Thursday.
 
Justice Habibur said the commission has examined the evidence in the cases heard so far, comparing the statements of confession with the investigations of the Anticorruption Commission.
 
"We have not found any major discrepancies between them," he said.
 
Those who were ordered to surrender ill-gotten gains also pledged that they would not commit corruption in future, he said.
 
"But action will be taken against them in line with normal legal procedure if they conceal any information and it is discovered later," the commission chairman said.
 
He said that the people were asked to convert their illegal wealth—moveable and immoveable assets—into cash and make arrangements to deposit it to the state coffers.
 
"However, the payments will be handled differently in future," Habibur added.
 
He said that they were yet to get any applications from politicians or businessmen, and in reply to a question added that there was no former secretary among those who had been heard so far.
 
Some 199 people have applied to the TAC so far and 173 forms have been distributed.
 
On the 'controversial' legal stipulation that bars the commission from disclosing names, he said names "would be made public some day".
 
President Iajuddin Ahmed signed the "Voluntary Divulgence of Information Ordinance 2008" into law on June 8, paving way for the commission to come into being.
 
According to the ordinance, anybody facing conviction in a corruption case of two years or less can seek clemency from the commission by admitting to their crime and return within a specific time the wealth earned through corruption.
 
The High Court on Aug 28 ordered the government to explain in two weeks why the "Voluntary Divulgence of Information Ordinance 2008" would not be declared unconstitutional and illegal, on a writ petition challenging the ordinance.
 
Two other commission members Manjur Rashid and Asif Ali were also present in Wednesday's briefing.

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