Court Orders Irad's Arrest In Tk 50cr Case
Monday, 16 March 2009

A Dhaka court ordered the arrest of Chowdhury Irad Ahmed Siddiky after a senior BNP leader filed a a Tk 50 crore defamation case against the 38 year-old on Sunday.

ASM Hannan Shah told bdnews24.com Sunday he had filed the case as Irad had brought false allegations against Khaleda Zia.

The son of BNP standing committee member Chowdhury Tanbir Ahmed Siddiky also made offensive comments against Hannan Shah that tarnished his image as well as the party's, he alleged.

Hannan Shah's lawyers argued that he was "a well-educated, retired military officer, a former cabinet minister, a respected person in the society, engaged in social development activities".

"The accused law-breaker, on the other hand, is a fraud, imposter, one who defames others and makes indecent remarks, and a worthless individual," Hannan Shah's statement to the court said.

The statement said it was sheer "political vendetta" that propelled the accused to make defamatory statements against Hannan Shah, Mirza Abbas, Sadeq Hossain Khoka, the late Mohammad Hanif and businessman Abdul Awal MIntoo.

Hannan Shah, the BNP chairperson's adviser, said he was seeking Tk 50 crore in damages. His lawyer advocate Hossain Ali said the case had been filed with the CMM court under sections 500 and 501 of penal code.

Replying to a question from bdnews24.com, Hannan Shah said he had sued only Irad. "But Irad made those comments sitting in the home of Tanbir Ahmed Siddiky, he (the latter) cannot but accept the responsibility for it."

Allegation and insults

Irad, in presence of father Tanbir, alleged at a press briefing last Monday that Khaleda asked for Tk 5 crore in return for a party ticket in the Dhaka mayoral election.

Irad called incumbent mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka, and former mayors BNP's Mirza Abbas and AL's Mohammad Hanif "all corrupt", who "failed to deliver".

He called Hannan Shah the "'bastard' child of democracy".

He said none among Khoka, Abbas, Hannan and former FBCCI chief Abdul Awal Mintoo—the likely BNP candidates—was acceptable.

Tanbir, however, was not very quick to counter his son's allegations.

"What my son said was false," Tanbir told reporters the following day when the newspapers carried the story with screaming headlines.

He said Khaleda never sought money in return for the Dhaka mayoral ticket, as Irad claimed.

Tanbir dismissed his son's remarks as "false and unwanted", and said he was hurt by harsh comments on retired brigadier Hannan, "a personal friend of mine since boyhood".

The son's comments have nevertheless angered party adherents and the standing committee on Tuesday asked Tanbir to explain in 72 hours why he should not be punished over Irad's allegations.

Irad on Saturday sought to distance himself from his father and the BNP, saying he just voiced his own views and that he had no links to his father politically.

Source: bdnews24.com

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