Vol. 5 Num 989 Tue. March 13, 2007  
Front Page

Tarique Rahman sent to jail
Denied division in jail; investigators not satisfied with disclosures on stashed money in his foreign bank accounts

Senior Joint Secretary General of BNP Tarique Rahman will have to sleep on cold hard concrete in Dhaka Central Jail just like other general inmates as he was denied division facilities after a Dhaka court had sent him there last night.

"We did not provide division facilities to Tarique as he does not qualify under any category to get the facilities," Deputy Inspector General (Prisons) Major Shamsul Haider Siddique told The Daily Star last night.

Tarique was kept in a cell with other general inmates until midnight, jail sources said.

Jail doctors were supposed to take a look at him later in the night to treat his headache and pain in the waist.

If the doctors would suggest admitting him to the jail hospital he would be admitted there, the DIG said.

According to the jail code, government officials who fall under serial No 1 to 18 on the government's warrant of precedence are entitled to get division facilities. Besides, Ekushey Award winners, holders of gallantry awards Bir Uttam, Bir Bikram and Bir Protik, commercially important persons, (CIPs) and general secretaries of political parties with representatives in the parliament may get division facilities in jail.

Tarique was produced before the court on completion of his four-day remand in connection with an extortion case.

The investigation officer (IO) of the case petitioned the Metropolitan Magistrate's Court to confine Tarique to jail until the investigation is completed. He also mentioned in a forwarding report that Tarique had divulged important information which are being verified.

Defense lawyers submitted two petitions to Metropolitan Magistrate Abdur Rouf Khan seeking division facilities for Tarique and seeking medical treatment for him in jail.

The court ordered to provide him with treatment in jail and asked the jail authorities to decide whether the jail code allowed division facilities for him considering his social status.

A grim faced Tarique seemed sobbing in the dock when the defence lawyers sought medical treatment for him. At that time Tarique took a piece of tissue from a counsel and wiped his nose.

Tarique was taken to the court at 9:45pm under tight security and sent to jail 15 minutes later.

The lawyers of Tarique also sought bail for him in connection with the extortion case, and withdrew another bail petition in connection with a general diary (GD) filed against him in another court earlier in the day.

Judge Momin Ullah of the Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court in Dhaka scheduled the hearing on the bail petition in connection with the case for March 19, reports our court correspondent.

Owner of a construction firm, Amin Ahmed, who had been nominated as a BNP candidate from a Noakhali constituency for the cancelled January 22 election, filed the case against Tarique with Gulshan police station on March 8.

In the case, Tarique was accused of extorting Tk 1 crore from Amin Ahmed.

During his remand, Tarique disclosed to interrogators the amount of money he has in five banks abroad, but the disclosure could not satisfy the investigators.

In the face of extensive questioning at the joint interrogation cell (JIC) Tarique, elder son of the immediate past prime minister Khaleda Zia, divulged the information to the interrogators, a source said requesting anonymity.

"He told investigators about the amount of money he has in foreign bank accounts, but the information could not convince the interrogators," said the source declining to disclose to the media the amount Tarique claims to have in the bank accounts in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, South Africa and Switzerland.

Tarique also told the investigators that his uncle Major (retd) Sayeed Iskendar, his younger brother Arafat Rahman, and his detained business partner Giasuddin Al Mamun used to look after his distillery, advertisement firm, and water transport business.

Tarique, who had used to flaunt his ruling party rank in the government administration's face and always had seemed beyond the reach of law enforcers during the BNP-Jamaat rule, was arrested from his mother's Cantonment residence in the capital in a midnight raid by the joint forces on March 8.

Tarique being taken to the CMM court in the capital yesterday after a remand. PHOTO: STAR