Imran Khan arrested in court in Islamabad
Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested Tuesday as he appeared in court to face charges in multiple graft cases, a dramatic escalation of political tensions in the country that sparked demonstrations by his supporters in at least three cities. Khan, who was ousted in a no-confidence vote in April 2022 but remains the leading opposition figure, was dragged from the Islamabad High Court by security agents from the National Accountability Bureau, said Fawad Chaudhry, a senior official with his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party. Khan was shoved into an armored car and whisked away. Chaudhry denounced the arrest of the 71-year-old former cricket star as “an abduction.” Pakistan’s independent GEO TV broadcast video of Khan being hauled away. Afterward, a scuffle broke out between Khan’s supporters and police outside the court. Some of Khan’s lawyers and supporters were injured in the melee, as were several police, Chaudhry said. Khan’s party complained to the court, which requested a police report explaining the charges for Khan’s arrest. Also Read: Pakistan: Police storm Imran Khan home in Lahore, arrest 61 Khan was taken to the garrison city of Rawalpindi, near Islamabad, for questioning at the offices of the National Accountability Bureau, according to police and government officials. He also was to undergo a routine medical checkup, police said. Khan had arrived at the Islamabad High Court from nearby Lahore, where he lives, to face charges in the graft cases. He has denounced the cases against him, which include terrorism charges, as a politically motivated plot by his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, saying his ouster was illegal and a Western conspiracy. Khan has campaigned against Sharif and demanded early elections. Tuesday’s arrest was based on a a new warrant from the National Accountability Bureau obtained last week in a separate graft case for which Khan had not obtained bail, making him vulnerable to arrest. He is scheduled to appear before an anti-graft tribunal on Wednesday, officials said. “Imran Khan has been arrested because he was being sought in a graft case,” Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan told a news conference. He alleged Pakistan’s treasury had lost millions of dollars while Khan was in office due to illegal purchases of lands from a business tycoon. As the news of the arrest spread, about 4,000 of Khan’s supporters stormed the official residence of the top regional commander in Lahore, smashing windows and doors, damaging furniture and staging a sit-in as troops there retreated to avoid violence. The protesters also burned police vehicles and blocked key roads.. Protesters also smashed the main gate of the army’s headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, where troops exercised restraint. Hundreds of demonstrators shouted pro-Khan slogans as they moved toward the sprawling building. In the port city of Karachi, police swung batons and fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of Khan supporters who had gathered on a key road. Raoof Hasan, another leader from Khan’s party, told Al Jazeera English television that the arrest is “blatant interference in the judicial affairs by the powers-that-be.” Hasan added that Khan “was virtually abducted from the court of law.” Khan’s arrest came hours after he issued a video message before heading to Islamabad, saying he was “mentally prepared” for arrest there. Also Read: Pakistan's ex-PM Imran Khan no-show in court, avoids arrest Khan was wounded by a gunman at a rally in November, an attack that killed one of his supporters and wounded 13. He has insisted, without offering any evidence, that there is a plot to assassinate him, alleging that Pakistan’s spy agency was behind the conspiracy. The gunman was immediately arrested and police later released a video of him in custody, allegedly saying he had acted alone. In a strongly worded statement Monday, the military accused Khan of “fabricated and malicious allegations” of its involvement in the November shooting, saying they are “extremely unfortunate, deplorable and unacceptable.” Also Read: More clashes in Pakistan as police try to arrest Imran Khan The military has directly ruled Pakistan for more than half of the 75 years since the country gained independence from British colonial rule, and wields considerable power over civilian governments. Sharif, whose government faces spiraling economic woes and is struggling to recover from last year’s devastating floods that killed hundreds and caused $30 billion in damage, slammed Khan for assailing the military. “Let this be abundantly clear that you, as former prime minister, currently on trial for corruption, are claiming legitimacy to overturn the legal and political system,” Sharif tweeted after Khan’s arrest. Khan is the seventh former prime minister to be arrested in Pakistan. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was arrested and hanged in 1979. The current prime minister’s brother, Nawaz Sharif, who also served as prime minister, was arrested several times on corruption allegations. In March, police stormed Khan’s Lahore residence, seeking to arrest him based on a court order in a different case. Dozens of people, including police, were injured in ensuing clashes. Khan was not arrested at the time and later obtained bail in the case. Khan came to power in 2018 after winning parliamentary elections and had initially good relations with the military which gradually soured.
Graft case against Tarique, Zubaida: Charge hearing deferred till April 9
A Dhaka court on Wednesday deferred till April 9 the hearing on charge framing against BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman and his wife Zubaida Rahman in a case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for acquiring wealth beyond their known sources of income and concealing information in their affidavits. Dhaka Metropolitan Senior Special judge Md Asaduzzaman fixed the fresh date. Earlier, on November 01, 2022, Dhaka court issued arrest warrants for Tarique Rahman and his wife Dr Zubaida in the graft case. On June 26, the High court ordered the judicial court to dispose of the case as soon as possible. The HC also rejected the couple’s writ petitions, challenging the corruption case against them. As both of them remain fugitives, the court rejected the writ petitions – saying these are not acceptable. Read more: Arrest warrants issued for Tarique and Zubaida Rahman in corruption case The court also withdrew the stay order on the trial proceedings of the case filed against them. On September 26, 2007, ACC lodged a complaint with Kafrul police against Tarique Rahman, Zubaida and her mother Iqbal Mand Banu for amassing illegal wealth worth Tk 4.81 crore and concealing the information. In the same year, the High Court issued a rule suspending the trial proceedings in the case after hearing a petition filed by Zubaida. The HC rejected the rule in 2017 and asked her to surrender before the court within eight weeks.
Appellate Division upholds HC order to grant bail to NSU’s ex-trustee Shahjahan
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Monday upheld the High Court (HC) order to grant bail to former trustee of North South University (NSU) Mohammad Shahjahan in a graft case lodged last year. A three member justice bench led by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique passed the order after hearing, said the accused’s counsel Barrister Sayeed Ahmed Raja. He said now there is no legal barrier to walk out of jail for his client after the Appellate Division upheld the HC order. Anti-Corruption Commissioner (ACC) lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan represented the state in the hearing. On May 5 last year, ACC Deputy Director Md Farid Ahmed filed a case accusing six people including Shahjahan for swindling Tk 3030.82 crore in the name of purchasing land for NSU. REad: Nayapaltan clash: BNP’s Salam, Annie get 6-month interim bail The other accused are - NSU trustee board chairman Azim Uddin Ahmed, members- Benajir Ahmed, MA Kashem, Rehana Rahman, Ashaloy Housing and Developers Amin managing director Md Hilaly, its chairman Omar Faruk and directors- Anwara Begum and Syed AK Haque. On May 22, the High Court rejected an advanced bail of four out of the six accused and handed them over to the police. December 14, the HC granted bail to Shahjahan on two conditions—not to leave the country and go to the university campus without permission. Later, the ACC moved the Appellate Division to stay the HC order. The chamber judge stayed the HC order and sent it to a regular bench of the Appellate Division for hearing. As per the schedule, the Appellate Division granted the bail rejecting the petition filed by the ACC on Monday. According to the Private University Act, 2010, the board of trustees is the highest governing body of a private university like NSU. According to the Memorandum of Association and Articles (Rules and Regulations) of the University, the university is a charitable, welfare oriented, non-commercial and non-profit educational institution. The case stated that over 9,088 decimal land was bought in the name of campus development of NSU through the consent of some members of the board of trustees bypassing the approval of the university syndicate, the University Grants Commission, and the Ministry of Education. The accused later withdrew cash from the buyer through cheques in their own names and kept FDR in their own names. Later, they themselves embezzled the FDR money.
Chinese national among 6 jailed in graft case
A Dhaka court on Wednesday sentenced six people including a Chinese national to different jail terms in a case filed over embezzling Tk 2.59 crore. Judge of the Dhaka Special Judge Court-5 Iqbal Hossain handed down the judgment. Read more: HC clears way to continue graft case against BNP leader Dulu Of them, Chairman of The Sinfa Knitters Limited Chinese national Yang Wang Chug and its director Khasru Al Rahman get 13 years imprisonment while its director Mansurul Haque and Golam Mostafa 10 years imprisonment. All of them were tried in absentia. Besides, then senior vice-president of National Bank Dilkusha branch Abdul Wadud Khan and its executive vice president Shahabuddin were sentenced to six years jail. The court also fined them Tk 50,000 each, in default, to suffer three months more rigorous imprisonment. On October 26, a court fixed November 16 for delivering judgment in the case. Read more: HC cancels 2014 acquittal of accused trio in Tk 12cr Sonali Bank graft case According to the case statement, the convicts, in collusion with each other took loan Tk 2.59 crore from National Bank after submitting a fake document of land against their business company and embezzled the whole money. A deputy director of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed a case with Motijheel Police Station on January 17, 2017. On June 24, 2018, police submitted chargesheet against the six people.
Arrest warrants issued for Tarique and Zubaida Rahman in corruption case
A Dhaka court today issued arrest warrants for BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman and his wife Dr Zubaida Rahman in a graft case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). Dhaka Metropolitan Senior Special Judge Md Asaduzzaman court passed the order after taking the charge sheet against them into cognisance. The court also directed the officer-in-charge (OC) of Cantonment police station to submit a progress report regarding the arrest warrant on January 5 next year. Read more: Graft case against Tarique, Zubaida: HC asks trial court to dispose of case soon On June 26, High court ordered the judicial court to dispose of the case as soon as possible. The HC also rejected the couple’s writ petitions, challenging the corruption case against them for acquiring wealth beyond their known sources of income and concealing information in their affidavits. As both of them remain fugitive, the court rejected the writ petitions – saying these are not acceptable. The court also withdrew the stay order on the trial proceedings of the case filed against them. Read more: Verdict on Tarique-Zubaida’s whereabouts on June 26 On September 26, 2007, ACC lodged a complaint with Kafrul police against Tarique Rahman, Zubaida and her mother Iqbal Mand Banu for amassing illegal wealth worth Tk 4.81 crore and concealing the information. In the same year, the High Court issued a rule suspending the trial proceedings in the case after hearing a petition filed by Zubaida. The HC rejected the rule in 2017 and asked her to surrender before the court within eight weeks.
Revival of graft cases: BNP leaders say it’s a tactic to derail anti-govt movement
While the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has recently been gearing up its anti-government movement defying all sorts of obstacles, party leaders say the government is reviving some pending cases against the leaders and activists with a motive to derail the movement. Some BNP leaders and lawyers say authorities may send some party leaders to jail to convey a message to the opposition party that they would not be spared ahead of the next general election. But the government repeatedly denied such allegations by BNP in the past, saying that authorities do not influence courts. Read Over 20 injured after police obstruct BNP volunteers’ march in Port City; 10 detained Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, a member of BNP’s Standing Committee, told UNB that the government has become “very nervous” over the overall social, political and economic situation while there is pressure from the international community to restore democracy through an inclusive and credible election. “The government has been failing to stop people’s participation in our rallies despite carefully-orchestrated obstacles against us. So, the government is desperate to reinforce their repressive acts to suppress us,” he said. “But it’s clear from our recent successful rallies that such a political tactic will not work,” he said. On Tuesday, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court cleared the way for a lower court to continue the trial involving graft charges against BNP Standing Committee Member Mirza Abbas. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case in 2007 on charges of amassing wealth illegally. Read Bus owners threaten strike on Nov 4, 5 in Barishal ahead of BNP’s rally The trial proceedings against Khandaker Mosharraf on charges of siphoning off Tk 90 million are also set to enter its final stage. The ACC filed the case in 2014, accusing him of making money illegally when he was the health minister from 2001-2006. The ACC has also started an investigation against nine other people, including Standing Committee members Nazrul Islam Khan and Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, for suspicious transactions before the 11th parliamentary elections. Lawyers loyal to BNP say the trials of many cases against BNP leaders and activists are going on with lower courts in Dhaka and elsewhere. BNP says around 36 lakh BNP leaders and activists are now facing over one lakh cases. They say the charges are politically motivated. Read: Thousands join as BNP’s Khulna rally starts earlier than scheduled
Suspended DIG Bazlur Rashid gets five-year jail in graft case
A Dhaka court on Sunday sentenced suspended Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Prisons Bazlur Rashid to five years imprisonment for illegally amassing wealth worth Tk 3.14 crore. Dhaka Special Judge’s Court-5 Jude Md Iqbal Hossain also fined the convict Tk 5 lakh, in default, to suffer six months more in jail. Read: Why ex-DIG prison Bazlur Rashid’s bail won’t be scrapped: HC The court also cancelled his bail and sent him to jail. The court on Saturday fixed Sunday for delivering the judgment after completing arguments from the both sides. Read:Court orders freezing two bank accounts of suspended DIG prison Bazlur The ACC summoned the suspended DIG and his wife for interrogation on October 20 in 20019 and showed him arrested on the same day after filing a case against him on charge of amassing illegal wealth worth Tk 3.14 crore. ACC Deputy Director Md Nasir Uddin pressed chargesheet against the ex-DIG on August 26, 2020. The court framed chagres against Bazlur Rashid on October 22.
Trial of graft case against PK Halder begins
The trial of a corruption case against Prashanta Kumar Halder (PK Halder), disgraced director of International Leasing and Finance Service Ltd (ILFSL), and 13 others began at a Dhaka court on Thursday. Justice Mohammad Nazrul Islam of Dhaka Special Judge Court-10 recorded testimony of Mamunur Rashid Chowdhury, an Assistant Director of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the plaintiff of the case. The court has fixed October 13 for the cross-examination of Mamunur’s statement. On September 8, the court framed charges against the accused. The other accused in the case are PK Harder’s mother Lilabati Halder, Purnima Rani Halder, Uttam Kumar Mistri, Amitabh Adhikari, Pritish Kumar Halder, Rajib Som, Subratra Das, Ananga Mohan Ray, Swapan Kumar Mistri, Abantika Baral, Shankha Bepari, Sukumar Mridha and Anindita Mridha. Among the accused, Abantika, Shankha, Sukumar and Anindita were arrested and sent to jail. Read: PK Halder, 13 others indicted in money laundering case According to the case statement, PK Halder has acquired wealth worth almost Tk 275 crore beyond known sources of income through illegal activities and kept them in his possession. The ACC investigated the case and submitted a charge sheet to the court. In the charge sheet, the anti-graft watchdog accused Halder of laundering CAD 1.17 crore to Canada through illegal means. The corruption case against Halder was lodged with ACC’s Dhaka Coordinated Office by Mamunur on January 8, 2020. On May 13 this year, India's federal economic offences police arrested PK Halder and his two associates from the eastern state of West Bengal. He is now in Indian jail.
SC scraps bail to Laxmipur UP chairman Selim in graft case
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed a High Court order that had granted bail to controversial union parishad chairman of Chandpur Md Selim Khan in a corruption case. The court also ordered Selim Khan to surrender before the court by September 27. Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division Justice M Enayetur Rahim passed the order after hearing a petition filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). Read: Samrat's bail extended in money laundering case Advocate Momtaz Uddin Fakir appeared for Salim Khan at the court while Advocate Khorshed Alam Khan stood for ACC. On September 14, the High Court (HC) granted anticipatory bail to him for four weeks in the graft case. The HC, however, ordered Selim Khan to surrender before the trial court concerned within four weeks in connection with the case. On August 1, ACC’s assistant director Ataur Rahman filed the case against Selim Khan for acquiring the assets illegally. Read: Dhara Multipurpose Co-Operative Society president gets 12 years jail According to the complaint, Selim Khan acquired assets worth Tk 34,53, 81,119 beyond his known source of income and he concealed information about his assets. On August 8, the Appellate Division ruled that Md Selim Khan must pay a huge amount in royalties against sand extraction from the Meghna river banks. It said since 2016, Selim Khan had been extracting sand from the Meghna River in Chandpur Sadar and Haimchar illegally, causing the government to incur huge losses.
Laxmipur UP chairman Selim Khan gets anticipatory bail in graft case
The High Court (HC) today (September 14, 2022) granted anticipatory bail to controversial Laxmipur UP chairman Md Selim Khan for four weeks in a graft case. The HC bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Biswajit Debnath passed the order. The court also asked him to surrender before the trial court after four weeks. Read: HC directs Laxmipur UP Chairman Selim Khan to surrender within 3 weeks Advocate Momtaz Uddin Fakir appeared for Salim Khan at the court while Advocate Khorshed Alam Khan appeared for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). Selim Khan’s counsel submitted the bail petition on Tuesday. On August 14, HC asked Selim to surrender to the trial court within three weeks in a case filed over acquiring Tk 34 crore illegal assets through unauthorised sand extraction. On August 1, ACC’s assistant director Ataur Rahman filed the case against Selim Khan for acquiring the assets illegally. Read: AL expels UP chairman Selim Khan According to the complaint, Selim Khan acquired assets worth Tk 34,53, 81,119 beyond his known source of income and he concealed information about his assets . On August 8, the Appellate Division ruled that Md Selim Khan must pay a huge amount in royalties against sand extraction from the Meghna river banks. It said since 2016, writ petitioner Selim Khan had been extracting sand from the Meghna River in Chandpur Sadar and Haimchar illegally, causing the government to incur a huge losses.