WORLD BANK PANEL QUERIES
ACC to reply in national interest: RahmanStaff Correspondent
The Anti-Corruption Commission chairman, Ghulam Rahman, on Sunday said the commission had decided to reply to the letter of the World Bank external panel of experts ‘considering national interests’.
‘A reply to the letter is not that important, what is important is the report of the panel of experts, which they are supposed to send to the commission,’ he told reporters at his office.
He did not disclose the contents of the ACC’s reply, which is almost ready for sending to the panel of experts. He said it was very confidential and so nothing should be disclosed.
The commission’s legal adviser, Anisul Haque said that it had already drafted the reply.
‘The commission will send it to the panel of experts in next 24 hours,’ he said Sunday afternoon.
The queries sent to the commission by the World Bank panel chairman Luis Moreno Ocampo on January 9 are as follows:
‘a) With reference to the panel’s observations concerning former minister Syed Abul Hossain’s probable involvement in the conspiracy, what is the ACC’s assessment of Hossain’s role? In this context, what is the ACC’s view of the significance of: i. the meeting held on 29 May 2011 between the SNC representatives and the government officials; ii. Mr Hossain’s attendance at that meeting; and iii. the subsequent events that SNC Lavalin moved to the top of the tender list, and the reference on the notepad to “4% Min”?
‘b) It is stated in the FIR that “the then minister of communications Mr. Syed Abul Hossain met with representative of SNC Lavalin and other representatives of competing bidding entities.” Can the ACC provide the panel with all information it has already collected with respect to the relevant meetings, including the dates, the venue, the names and the positions of the persons whom Mr Hossain met, and the purposes of these meetings? Are there further investigative plans to collect additional information concerning these meetings?
‘c) It is stated in the FIR that “at the investigation stage, the role of Mr [Abul] Hasan [Chowdhury] and Mr Hossain in this conspiracy will be scrutinised.” Can the ACC share with the panel its investigative strategy for doing so, including, in particular, whether the ACC will invoke its investigative powers and if so what powers, and keep the panel apprised of progress?
‘d) The FIR mentions that “During interrogation, committee member Mr Tarun Tapan Dewan, project director Mr Rafiqul Islam, Dr Professor Ishtiaque Ahmed and Mr Moqbul Hossain stated that from the very onset the secretary Mr Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and Mr Kazi Md Ferdous expressed that the government was primarily interested to award the work order to a Japanese company Oriental Consultant Company Ltd and Mr Kazi Md Ferdous unsuccessfully attempted to obtain signatures of other members on an erroneous evaluation sheet prepared by himself on his own initiative.” Can the ACC provide a copy of such statement to the panel?
‘e) It has been publicly reported that ex-secretary of Bridges Division Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and superintendent engineer of Bangladesh Bridge Authority Kazi Mohammad Ferdous have been arrested and interviewed. Can the ACC provide the panel with records of such interviews and any other investigative steps taken or anticipated since the issuance of the FIR?
‘f) During our December meetings, the evidentiary process to make documents from outside Bangladesh admissible in a court of law was discussed. Has the ACC taken or will the ACC take all necessary steps to ensure that the evidence and information supplied by the World Bank and any other third parties will be admissible in any subsequent legal proceedings in Bangladesh?
‘g) What is the status of any efforts to receive or obtain evidence and any other relevant information from Canadian authorities?
‘h) What is the status of efforts to access deleted emails from computers and/or email accounts of relevant parties?’
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