A Dhaka court yesterday (October 18) cleared Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and three others of charges in a corruption case following an appeal by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
ACC deputy director Mohammad Moniruzzaman Khan, also the investigation officer (IO) of the case, submitted the final report on October 18 to the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court citing no instance of misuse of power by any of the accused.
The commission also appealed to the court to exempt the accused as their involvement in the incidents was not proved.
Judge ANM Bashir Ullah of the Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court accepted the final report and cleared them of the charges.
The three others in the case are former state minister Obaidul Quader, former joint secretary of cultural ministry Asaduzzaman Bhuiyan and architect Iqbal Habib of M/s Bhitti Sthopotibrinda Limited.
The case was filed accusing them of embezzling millions from a project to construct a complex at the grave of Bangladesh's founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Monjur Morshed, official of now defunct Bureau of Anti-Corruption, filed the case with Ramna Police Station against Hasina and three others on July 3, 2004.
The complainant accused Hasina of approving a proposal to appoint Bhitti Sthopotibrinda on December 15, 1998 as the lone consultant for construction of the complex without floating any tender and bypassing the memorandum of the Economic Relations Division.
The Executive Committee of National Economic Council on November 25, 1998 approved the project to be implemented.
Earlier, the government on August 17 withdrew Paltan Killings Case filed against Hasina and 44 others in October 2006.
It had also withdrawn an extortion case against Hasina, her sister Sheikh Rehana, and their cousin Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim on May 17.
Moreover, the government had earlier decided to withdraw 12 other cases filed against Hasina during the tenures of the previous BNP-led government and the last caretaker government.