Ex-judge now living in Malaysia

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Former judge Motahar Hossain, who acquitted BNP Senior Vice-chairman Tarique Rahman in a money laundering case in November, is now living in Malaysia, Anti-Corruption Commission has learnt.

Hossain, while serving as a judge of Special Judges’ Court-3, acquitted Tarique, also elder son of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, in a money laundering case involving Tk 20.41 crore.

The judge left country 53 days after delivering the judgement in the money laundering case, ACC officials told journalists today.

The information came to light while an ACC team launched preliminary investigation against the “discrepancies” in the wealth statement of the judge who retired 43 days after delivering the judgement.

The ACC team came to know about the judge’s present abode scrutinising the travel documents of Hossain, sources in the anti-graft body said.

Hossain left Bangladesh for Malaysia on January 8, said Harun-ur-Rashid, deputy director of the ACC, who is leading the ACC team in the investigation that started on January 20.

Meanwhile, the ACC interrogated two stenographers of two separate Dhaka courts to get information on the judge’s wealth, Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya, public relation officer of the ACC told reporters at his office today.

The staff are: Md Abul Hossain of Speedy Tribunal-4 and Nurul Islam Mollah of Special Judges Court in Dhaka.

During delivering judgement on November 17 last year, the judge sentenced Tarique’s friend and business partner Giasuddin Al Mamun to seven years in prison and fined him Tk 40 crore in the same case.

“[Tarique] did not conceal any information of this transaction in his wealth statement submitted to the Anti-Corruption Commission on June 7, 2007. So, the charges against him could not be brought under the Money Laundering Prevention Act-2002. Therefore, he is acquitted,” the judge told the court during the pronouncement of the judgement.

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