Friday, January 25, 2008

New Twist in Corruption Case

Now it's inhuman to keep Hasina confined: AL

Dhaka, Jan 24 ( – The Awami League thinks it would be inhuman and unjust to keep party president Sheikh Hasina detained after businessman Azam Jahangir Chowdhury said he had not sued the former prime minister for extortion.

Acting AL chief Zillur Rahman Thursday said they thought Hasina had been framed in the case to keep her confined and isolated from the people.

Zillur made the comment at a function to accept donations for the party's central relief fund for cyclone Sidr victims at his Gulshan home in the city.

"From the very beginning we have been saying that Sheikh Hasina is completely innocent. A conspiratorial case has been lodged against her. In this case we will win the legal battle," he said.

Chowdhury, the chairman of Prime Bank, said Thursday he had filed a case only against Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Hasina's cousin, for extorting money from him in return for a promised deal.

"I want to make it clear that I did not file a case against Sheikh Hasina," Chowdhury told by phone.

Zillur said: "What Azam J Chowdhury has said proves that we have been telling the truth. This is the victory of beauty over ugliness and of truth over lies.

"It has been proved that there is nothing substantial against Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana."

Quoting Selim, the AL presidium member accused in the case, Zillur said, "Sheikh Selim has told the court that his confessional statement was taken under duress. Besides, there is no witness in the case. This is a baseless case."

At the function, a cheque of Tk 10 lakh on behalf of Jeddah Awami League Council and Tk 1 lakh by Fazlur Rahman, a Bangladeshi expatriate in the USA, were given to the relief fund.

It was announced that the central relief fund would accept no financial help after Jan 31.

Awami League leaders Abdur Razzak, Dr Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin and Nazma Rahman were present.

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