Vol. 5 Num 329 Sun. May 01, 2005  
Front Page

Mohammad Ali new Attorney General

Additional Attorney General AJ Mohammad Ali has been appointed the 12th Attorney General of Bangladesh to replace Hassan Ariff who resigned on Thursday.

Mohammad Ali will take over the charge on Monday as President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday appointed him the chief law officer of the state.

Hassan Ariff, who resigned apparently over disagreements with the government on several issues, attended his last day in the office yesterday.

Meanwhile, a group of government law officers after Ariff's resignation demanded removal of a few law officers identifying them as "followers of Ariff."

Branding attorney general Ariff a failure, the law officers yesterday demanded ouster of officers who were appointed during the last Awami League regime, accusing them of corruption, nepotism and irregularities.

The demands came from a meeting at the attorney general's office yesterday with Assistant Attorney General Waliur Rahman in the chair. Some 20 out of more than 60 law officers attended the meeting.

The meeting noted that Ariff did not resign on health grounds -- rather the prime minister asked him to quit as in the last three years he miserably failed to run his office.

The hour-long meeting held before the formal appointment of Mohammad Ali, urged the government to appoint an attorney general who will be loyal to the ruling alliance.

"We are relieved to see his resignation. We were in a terrible state for the last three years as Ariff has tarnished the image of the government. We hail the government for the right decision," Deputy Attorney General Golam Kibria told the meeting.

"The deputy attorneys general (DAG) and assistant attorneys general (AAG) who were appointed during the Awami League regime should be ousted," Kibria demanded. "Otherwise they will pass on all important records of the attorney general's office to others and tarnish the image of the government."

DAG Golam Mohammad Chowdhury at the meeting said, "Ariff played the role of a stepmother. We could not meet him easily while some other officers surrounded him."

He alleged that half the law officers are tilted to the main opposition Awami League. "They are now trying to change their shells. In the last three years, the attorney general's office was dominated by some leftist law officers," he added.

Pointing finger at the press, Golam Mohammad said, "Newspapers are running one-sided reports suppressing the facts. We shall protest if they misreport on today's meeting."

AAG Rejaul Karim said an investigation should be launched against a law officer who is involved in human rights organisation Odhikar. Without mentioning the officer's name Karim said, "He is making the government controversial."

AAG Giasuddin Mithu noted, "The four-party alliance government had made a mistake by not appointing an attorney general loyal to itself, and appointing someone who did not work for the government."

Giasuddin urged the government to appoint barrister Abdur Razzak the attorney general. Razzak is well-known as a pro-Jamaat intellectual.

Newly appointed Attorney General AJ Mohammad Ali is a long-serving lawyer in the Supreme Court. He was enrolled to practise in the High Court in 1980 and in the Appellate Division in 1985.

Son of Bangladesh's first attorney general MH Khandakar, AJ Mohammad Ali was appointed additional attorney general on October 23, 2001.