A local court on Sunday cleared Opposition leader Khaleda Zia’s son Tarique Rahman of money laundering charges. But it awarded seven-year jail to his friend Giasuddin Al Mamun in the case.
Mr. Tarique, businessman-turned senior vice-chairman of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, has been in London since September 2008, reportedly for medical treatment.
Mamun is in jail since 2007.
In 2009, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case against Mr. Tarique and Mamun charging them with siphoning off Tk 20.41 crore between 2003 and 2007 when Ms. Zia was Prime Minister.
This is the first judgment in 16 cases against Mr. Tarique. He was arrested in 2007 during an anti-graft crackdown by the military-backed caretaker government.
Later, he was allowed to move to London on bail.
The court earlier cleared the way for the ACC to seek the help of Interpol in arresting Mr. Tarique. It also recorded statements of 13 prosecution witnesses, including the complainant and an FBI official from the U.S.
According to prosecution, Mamun allegedly took Tk 204.1 million as bribe from Khadiza Islam, Director of Nirman Construction Ltd, promising the contract of building a power plant at Tongi. The money was deposited in the Capital Street Branch of Singapore’s City Bank, from where he withdrew Tk 30.78 million, it was charged.