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>bigwigs’ trial caught in lingering probe

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>TRIALS of many corruption and extortion cases filed against detained political bigwigs could not be started in about a year as their investigations have been lingering, Shakhawat Liton and Chaitanya Chandra Halder write in The Daily Star. (Click for full report)
Cases filed against the interned political leaders were brought under the emergency power rules (EPR) for quick adjudication, by curtailing the rights to seek bail, but the snail pace of investigation has been delaying submission of charge sheets, which is a prerequisite for trials.
Many detained political heavies including former prime minister Khaleda Zia, former minister also Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil, Senior Joint Secretary General of BNP Tarique Rahman, former parliamentary affairs adviser to a prime minister Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, Member of the Advisory Council of AL Salman F Rahman, and former BNP minister Altaf Hossain Chowhdury have been in custody without trials for months.
The highest number of cases was filed against Tarique Rahman, the man who had allegedly been at the centre of the rampant corruption that had permeated every sphere of the society in the five years of the immediate past regime of BNP-Jamaat led four-party alliance government.
Although he reportedly controlled every aspect of the state and the government ranging from the civil administration to political agenda, from BNP’s political office Hawa Bhaban in the capital, he is yet to face trial in any of the cases, despite being detained for over a year now.
Several other politicians however were convicted through trials while the trials of some other big fishes of politics, including detained former prime minister also AL President Sheikh Hasina, have already begun.

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