ACC will share no data with WB until MoU with govt: chairman

The Anti-Corruption Commission’s chairman, Ghulam Rahman, on Wednesday said that the ACC would not share any information of the investigation into allegations of corruption in the Padma Bridge project with the World Bank without a Memorandum of Understanding between the government and the bank.

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He made the comment while talking to reporters at the ACC’s headquarters in Segun Bagicha.

He was asked about for mation of a three-member panel comprising international experts to ensure fair, transparent and acceptable investigation into alleged graft in the Padma Bridge project as recommended by the World Bank.

He said that the existing team investigating the graft allegations had no relationship with the government and it was working independently.

‘The committee can summon anybody, if needed. It has enough power to call anyone for the sake of proper investigation,’ he said.

On 25 July, he said that the ACC agreed with the World Bank’s proposal of forming a panel to ensure fair and transparent investigation.

‘The ACC has agreed with the WB’s proposal to ensure complete, transparent and fair investigation. The government and the World Bank will sign a MoU in this regard,’ the ACC’s chairman had said.

The ACC interrogated former communications secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan for his alleged corruption in the appointment of consultants for the Padma Bridge project.

ACC’s deputy directors Joynul Abedin Shibli and Mirza Zahidul Alam questioned him for about three hours.

Mosharraf, after the interrogation, told reporters, ‘The World Bank never mentioned my name. I was not involved in the Padma Bridge project graft…The World Bank and Canadian police never said that.’

He asked the authorities concerned to find out those who had communicated with the Integrity Department of the World Bank to halt the project and damage the country’s image.

On Sunday the ACC sent a notice asking Mosharraf, who is now executive chairman of the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority, to appear before the investigators at 10:00am on Wednesday.

On June 29 the World Bank cancelled the $1.2 billion credit agreement for the Padma Bridge due to allegations that SNC-Lavalin had offered bribes to former communications minister Syed Abul Hossain, former communications secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and others to get the contract for supervising the construction of the 6.1-kilometre bridge over the river Padma in February 2011.

News Source: 
The New Age