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Dr Yunus behind graft allegation in Padma Bridge project: Minister

nbvvLaw Minister Anisul Huq on Tuesday blamed Dr Muhammad Yunus for the graft allegation in the Padma Bridge project.

While speaking at a ‘Meet-the-Press’ programme at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) in the city, he also said the World Bank had asked them to arrest former Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain and take him on remand over the graft allegation.

The minister said as per the information available with the Prime Minister, Dr Yunus was the actor behind the cancellation of the WB’s fund for the Padma Bridge project.

Anisul Huq, who was the chief counsel for the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) in 2012 when the corruption conspiracy surfaced, said the national anti-graft body launched a probe into the matter following newspaper reports that there was a conspiracy of corruption regarding the supervision contract of the Padma Bridge project.

Later, the World Bank at a meeting told the ACC that it had data and information about the corruption which they will hand over the ACC, asking it to file a case, he said.

The minister also said the WB wanted to investigate the graft conspiracy with its own staff which Bangladesh refused. “Later, they cancelled the fund for the Padma Bridge,” he said.

The minister also said a team of WB experts visited Bangladesh in December in 2012 when they recommended filing a case against former Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain and taking him on remand.

“However, we strongly opposed it as there’s no ground to bring charge against him. Only four officials of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. met him,” he said.

He said Bangladesh cannot take legal action against the World Bank as the country is a signatory to the donor agency.

Anisul, however, said those affected can take recourse to law.

A Canada court on Saturday dismissed the graft allegation in Padma Bridge project and acquitted three business executives of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. throwing out wiretap evidence and saying the wiretap applications were based on gossip and rumour.

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