A Dhaka court has directed police to confiscate the movable and immovable property of acting BNP Chairman Tarique Rahman and his wife Zubaida Rahman in a graft case.
Dhaka Metropolitan Senior Special Judge M Asaduzzaman passed the order on Thursday as the couple failed to appear before the court in connection with the corruption case.
Talking to reporters, ACC lawyer Mosharraf Hossain Kajal said, “The court has the authority to confiscate property of any accused if he/she remains fugitive or is not arrested. It’s normal course of law. There’s no political twist in the order.”
Taking to the Daily Sun, Attorney General AM Amin Uddin said, “I’m yet to see the order. However, I can say that the court usually passes order to attach property of the accused in the criminal cases if he/she remains absconding. It’s called proclamation of attachment. If any case is disposed of and absconding accused is convicted, the court can order confiscation of property.”
During the last caretaker government’s crusade against corruption, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) lodged the case against Tarique, his wife and mother-in-law with Kafrul Police Station.
In the case filed on September 26, 2007, the ACC accused Tarique, his wife Zubaida and his mother-in-law Syeda Iqbal Mand Banu of amassing assets worth Tk 4.82 crore through illegal means and concealing the information of property worth Tk 2.16 crore in their wealth statements.
The investigation officer of the case, on March 31, 2009, submitted a charge sheet to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court, Dhaka against them.
However, they moved the High Court challenging the proceedings of the case against them.
On June 26 last year, the High Court rejected the writ petition of the couple and declared them fugitives in the graft case.
It also lifted its stay order clearing the way for their trial and directed the lower court to expedite the trial.
However, the proceedings of the case against Tarique's mother-in-law Syeda Iqbal Mand Banu were scrapped.
Tarique, elder son of military ruler and BNP founder Ziaur Rahman and Khaleda Zia, has been in London since 2008.
He is facing many corruption and criminal cases. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in the August 21 grenade attack case and convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.