Bangla court sends 2 former Ministers to jail after their surrende

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Dhaka, May 18 (UNI) A Bangladeshi court today sent two former cabinet ministers to central jail in connection with a scam case after they surrendered to the court.

Police said Dhaka Metro Sessions court sent to the jail former Local Government and Rural Development Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan and former Information Minister Shamsul Islam of detained former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's cabinet.

Judge Azizul Huq ordered to send him to jail with special accommodation and medical facility as per jail code.

Last Thursday the court issued warrants of arrest against 12 'absconding' accused including five former cabinet Ministers on charge of giving contract to GATCO Company for container handling in Dhaka and Chittagong container terminals in exchange of alleged underhand deal.

Of the five former Ministers, two surrendered at the court today while former Finance Minister Saifur Rahman and Commerce Minister Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury have already left the country. The fifth one--ex-Industry Minister and Jamaat-e-Islami Chief Matiur Rahman Nizami--is still out of jail as the Appellate Division will hear his bail petition on May 20.

Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and her son Koko were arrested in September last year in connection with this case. The police said the state exchequer suffered a loss of Tk 14.56 crore for giving the contract to GATCO.

Incumbent caretaker government of Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed cracked down on 'corrupt' politicians and businessmen after assuming the office in January last year in a bid to clean the domestic politics before the parliamentary election slated for December. This year In past 16 months scores of ex-Ministers, Members of Parliament and businessmen were jailed on corruption charges.

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