Former Bangladesh ministers sent to jail for corruption

November 10th, 2008 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Nov 10 (Xinhua) A Bangladesh court Monday ordered three former ministers to jail in a coal mine corruption case. The three ministers include former finance minister Saifur Rahman, former industry minister Matiur Rahman Nizami and former social welfare minister Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed.

They had served as ministers from 2001 to 2006 when Khaleda Zia of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party was prime minister.

All the three Monday appeared before the court set up in high security parliament building complex for bail, but the court rejected their applications.

Their lawyer Abdur Razzak told reporters that they would move high court Tuesday to seek the bails.

The Anti-Corruption Commission filed the case Feb 26 this year accusing former prime minister Khaleda Zia and nine former ministers of her cabinet of causing a loss of 1.59 billion taka ($23 million) to the state exchequer by awarding a contract for operating Barapukuria coal mine in northwest Bangladesh to a Chinese company through abuse of power.

Khaleda Zia, who was arrested in September last year on a corruption charge, was released on bail in September this year.

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