Hasina wants white paper on corruption during Zia’s term

February 12th, 2009 - 1:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Feb 12 (IANS) Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wants a white paper published on corruption during the 2001-06 tenure of her main political rival Khaleda Zia.
“Of course, the white papers should be published,” Hasina told Parliament Wednesday amid thumping of desks by the treasury bench lawmakers.

Zia had published a white paper on Hasina’s first tenure during 1996-2001 and pursued several cases pertaining to defence and commercial deals.

Most of these cases were pursued by the caretaker government that ruled during 2007-08 and Hasina was jailed.

Hasina said that graft during the military-backed government period would also be probed, The Daily Star said Thursday.

She also criticised former prime minister Khaleda Zia and former finance minister M. Saifur Rahman for “whitening their black money”.

“Although much information is coming to me from abroad, I can’t disclose those for the sake of investigation. Efforts are on to bring back the money laundered by the corrupt,” she said.

Zia and the 32-member opposition is boycotting parliament, asking to be seated on front benches.

Zia’s elder politician son Tarique Rahman, as also the younger businessman-son Arafat Rahman Koko were jailed for graft. They were sent out of the country for medical treatment last year.

While Tarique is in London, Koko is recovering in a Singapore hospital.

On the eve of last December’s election, the caretaker government took steps to recover money allegedly siphoned off by Koko and stashed in a Singapore bank after a deal for a mobile phone network was entered into by the Zia government with Siemens, the German telecom multinational.

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