Bangladesh charges former Chief Justice with corruption

July 12, 2019 12:00 am | Updated 03:44 am IST - Dhaka

Surendra Kumar Sinha fled Bangladesh in 2017

Bangladesh’s anti-graft office has charged the former Chief Justice with corruption nearly two years after he fled the country saying he was forced to resign, an official said on Thursday.

Surendra Kumar Sinha, who had led the South Asian nation’s Supreme Court to a landmark verdict on judicial independence that went against the government, left Bangladesh in late 2017 amid widespread allegations he had been pressured to step aside.

Opposition groups raised fears that his departure was a blow to the credibility of the judiciary in the Muslim-majority country, ruled by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League party since 2009.

On Wednesday, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed a lawsuit against Mr. Sinha and 10 others, including a former bank chief executive on charges of graft, money laundering and abuse of power.

They were charged with using fake credit papers to launder 40 million taka ($475,000) and transfer it to the account of Sinha, ACC secretary Dilwar Bakht told AFP.

“The case was filed at the district office of the ACC yesterday (Wednesday),” he said.

This is the first time in Bangladesh’s history that a former Chief Justice has been charged with any offence.

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