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Friday, December 28, 2012
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Padma Graft

Mosharraf, Ferdous remanded

Ex-secretary of Bridges Division Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and Superintendent Engineer of Bangladesh Bridge Authority Kazi Mohammad Ferdous were placed on seven days' remand yesterday in connection with the Padma bridge corruption case.

Second Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Md Shahidul Islam Faruque of a Dhaka court passed the order.

Mirza Zahidul Alam, a deputy director of the Anti-Corruption Commission and the investigation officer of the case, had produced the two before the court with a 10-day remand prayer.

In the remand prayer, the investigation officer said the two were directly involved in a corruption conspiracy in the Padma bridge project.

Therefore, remanding them would provide vital clues about the conspiracy and the whereabouts of those involved, he added.

Defence lawyers, on the other hand, submitted a petition seeking their bail along with cancellation of the remand prayer.

An ACC team led by its Director Mohammad Tahidul Islam arrested the duo in front of the National Museum at the capital's Shahbagh on Wednesday.

On December 17, the ACC filed a case with Banani Police Station against seven people, including the two, for conspiring to commit bribery in the project.

The other five accused are Reaz Ahmed Zaber, executive engineer of Roads and Highways Department; Mohammad Mostofa, deputy managing director of Engineering and Planning Consultant, a local agent of Canadian firm SNC Lavalin; and officials of the firm Mohammad Ismail, Ramesh Shah and Kevin Wales.

The World Bank cancelled its $1.2 billion funding for the project on June 29 this year, saying it had proof of a "corruption conspiracy" involving Bangladeshi officials, executives of the Canadian firm and some individuals.

The global lender on September 21 decided to revive the loan after the Bangladesh government agreed to the World Bank's terms and conditions.

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