Dhaka, July 21 (IANS) Bangladeshi opposition leader and former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s elder son Tarique Rahman was on Thursday handed a seven-year imprisonment and fine in a money laundering case.
The High Court overturned a trial court’s verdict acquitting the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader in a Taka 20.41 crore money laundering case, bdnews24 reported.
The court also slapped a Taka 200 million fine on Rahman, who lives in London.
The bench of justices Enayetur Rahim and Amir Hossain gave its decision on Thursday on an appeal by the anti-graft body — Anti Corruption Commission (ACC).
Rahman’s close business associate Giasuddin-Al-Mamun was also sentenced to seven years in prison and fined Taka 400 million, bdnews24 reported.
The ACC filed the case against Rahman and Mamun in October, 2009 for siphoning off the money to Singapore between 2003 and 2007.
Rahman’s lawyer Zainul Abedin denied that his client was involved in money laundering. He said the defence will scrutinise whether there was any chance of an appeal.
A pro-BNP lawyer, told The Daily Star that Rahman cannot move appeal as he was a fugitive in the eye of law living in London on parole for eight years.
Rahman, who faces trial for several charges, was arrested on March 7, 2007, during the Bangladesh state of emergency.
In September 2008, after securing a bail from the Supreme Court, Rahman went to Britain citing medical reasons.
Rahman has been in London ever since and also attends some BNP events in Dhaka.
The Bangladesh High Court directed the lower court concerned to issue conviction warrant against Rahman.
Since “convict Md Tarique Rahman has been absconding” the sentence of imprisonment as awarded shall be executed after causing his arrest or when he surrenders before the trial court, it said, the Daily Star reported.
The laundered money Taka 20 crore will be kept within Bangladesh Bank until realisation of fine, it added.
The High Court also ordered the ACC to take necessary steps in accordance with law to prosecute Md Moyazzam Hosen, Chairman of Hosaf Group, Khadiza Islam, Chairman of Nirman Construction, Mayer Sairee, and Marina Zaman who were the parties in the process of laundering money and aided the convicted persons in gaining the laundered money, Daily Star said.