Three Bangladesh officials face probe for graftJune 21st, 2009 - 3:26 pm ICT by IANS
Dhaka, June 21 (IANS) Bangladesh’s former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar and two other senior officials have been asked by an all-party parliamentary committee to explain alleged irregularities in financial transactions.
The three, including former deputy speaker Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui and former chief whip Khandaker Delwar Hossain are now senior opposition leaders belonging to the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).
They have refuted the allegations and questioned the legality of the parliamentary probe.
A summon is being sent to them Sunday for the meeting scheduled for June 27, The Daily Star newspaper said Sunday.
The committee will probe alleged graft in the parliament secretariat between October 2001 and January this year.
Allegations against the BNP leaders include financial irregularities in procurement, appointment, and beautification projects in the parliament building complex.
The three also stand accused of using public vehicles and fuel and illegally drawing medical allowances.
The three will have to face the committee separately.
The Zia-led alliance that ruled during 2001-06, lost the election last December.
As per parliamentary tradition, the presiding officers had continued to hold offices till January this year till the present parliament was constituted.
The officials drew allowances even though there was no parliament in existence for two years when a military-backed caretaker government ruled the country.
The probe follows report by a sub-committee that examined the issue.
It recommended recovering Tk 13 million ($200,000) that the three drew as fuel bill in addition to their entitlement.
It also suggested taking legal actions if they do not return the money.
Earlier, another sub-committee recommended retrieving Tk 3.5 million that Sircar, Siddiqui and Hossain drew illegally.
Hossain is the current secretary general of the BNP that is headed by former prime minister Khaleda Zia.
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