Sunday, October 20, 2019

Dhaka court sends Nazmul Huda to jail in bribery case

  • Court Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-01-06 13:49:27 BdST

Nazmul Huda

Former minister Nazmul Huda has been sent to jail after he turned himself over to a court in a case over bribery.

Judge HM Ruhul Imran of the Dhaka Special Judge’s Court-2 Judge turned down the former BNP leader’s bail petition and sent him to jail on Sunday.

Nazmul Huda was sentenced to seven years in prison by a lower court for receiving Tk 24 million as bribe from a weekly paper called the ‘Khoborer Ontorale’.

In 2017, the High Court reduced his sentence to four years.

In November last year, the Supreme Court released the full High Court decision in the case. Huda was instructed to turn himself over within 45 days.

“The Supreme Court had asked Nazmul Huda to surrender to a lower court. Today, he voluntarily appeared before the court and pleaded for bail,” said Mosharof Hossain Kajol, lawyer for the Anti-Corruption Commission.

“The judge however rejected his bail application and ordered that he be sent to jail,” he told 

Huda, a two-time minister under Khaleda Zia, left the BNP and formed the BNF. After the BNF lost its party registration he formed the Trinamool BNP. He contested the 11th national parliamentary elections as an independent candidate from the Dhaka-17 seat and lost.

The bribery case against Huda was filed at Dhanmondi Police Station by Anti-Corruption Commission Deputy Director Md Shariful Islam on Mar 21, 2007.

The case accuses Nazmul Huda and his wife Sigma Huda of accepting Tk 24 million as bribe from one Mir Zaher Hossain, who was allegedly representing a weekly publication called the ‘Khoborer Ontorale’.

On Aug 27, 2007, a Special Judge’s Court, in dealing with the case, sentenced Nazmul Huda to seven years in prison. His wife Sigma Huda received a three-year prison sentence.

Following an appeal against the court’s verdict by Nazmul Huda and Sigma Huda, the High Court overturned the sentences and acquitted them both on Mar 20, 2011. The state and the Anti-Corruption Commission subsequently filed applications with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for a review of the ruling.

On Dec 1, 2014, the apex court after hearing the applications overruled the High Court's decision and ordered a rehearing. After rehearing the case, the High Court reduced Nazmul Huda’s original seven-year prison sentence to a term of four years’ imprisonment.

Later, Nazmul Huda, without surrendering to the lower court, applied to the Appellate Division seeking an appeal hearing against the High Court’s decision. On Jan 7, 2018, the application was dismissed by the court.

“When a high-ranking government official abuses his power, it greatly damages the country’s economy, national interest and image,” the High Court observed in its judgement.