HC acquits Minister Maya of Corruption charge

HC acquits Minister Maya of Corruption charge

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Dhaka, Oct – The High Court on Monday acquitted Relief and Disaster Management Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya of a corruption case in which he was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment earlier by the lower court. The High Court also scrapped the lower court verdict that had convicted and sentenced Maya to 13 years imprisonment in the case in 2008.
The HC bench comprising Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice KM Hafizul Alam delivered the verdict after allowing Maya’s appeal challenging a lower court judgment.
In its verdict, the HC bench observed that it had found no reasonable grounds to uphold Maya’s sentence. The Anti-Corruption Commission has failed to prove the allegations brought against Maya beyond the reasonable doubt.
The HC bench was scheduled to deliver the verdict on Sunday but it was not possible as Maya’s lawyers presented further arguments on the day.
After the HC verdict, ACC lawyer Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan told reporters that the High Court acquitted Maya as the Anti-corruption Commission could not prove the allegations against Maya of amassing illegal wealth beyond the reasonable doubt.
In response to a query, he said that he would inform the ACC about the High Court verdict and the ACC would decide whether it would move an appeal before the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court against the High Court verdict.
The ACC filed the case against Maya, also an Awami League leader, with Sutrapur Police Station on June 13, 2007.
A special court on February 14, 2008, convicted and sentenced him to 13 years in jail, fined him Tk 5 crore and ordered confiscation of about Tk 6 crore of his “ill-gotten” wealth.
Maya, who was on the run during the trial, did not stand in the 2008 parliamentary elections. He returned home after his party came to power.
On May 25, 2009, Maya filed an appeal with the HC, which acquitted him on October 27, 2010. The ACC filed the leave to appeal petition with the Supreme Court challenging the HC verdict in 2011.
On June 14, 2015, the Appellate Division revoked a High Court verdict that had acquitted Maya of graft charges.
The apex court also directed the High Court to hold a fresh hearing on the appeal Maya. As per the Supreme Court directive, the HC bench held the hearing on the appeal from both the ACC and the defence lawyers.
After completion of the hearing, the HC bench had earlier on August 14 fixed October 7 for delivering its verdict in the case. But, it did not deliver the verdict on October 7 as the defence lawyers submit
further arguments on the appeal. Finally, the HC bench yesterday acquitted Maya of charges paving his way to contest the next general election without any legal complication.
Advocate Abdul Baset Majumder with the assistance of Advocate Sayeed Ahmed Raja appeared for Maya while Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan represented the ACC during the appeal hearing. – Staff Reporter

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