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Anti-graft body concede wrong accusing Jaha Alam for graft
Innocent Jahalam has been released from jail early Monday following a High Court order.

Anti-graft body concede wrong accusing Jaha Alam for graft

Dhaka, July 11 – The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Thursday acknowledged that it was the wrong of its investigation officers who identified Jaha Alam as Abu Salek, the real accused of 26 cases on charges of misappropriating Tk 18.5 crore from Sonali Bank.
In its internal investigation report over Jaha Alam identity mess-up incident, the ACC probe body also alleged that the officers of Brac Bank and other Banks have also played role in identifying wrong persons in their bank accounts and derailing the investigation officers of the commission during the investigation of the cases filed against Abu Salek.
“After the overall consideration I have found that the mistake of identifying Jaha Alam as Abu Salek has taken place due to the investigating officers of the commission. The officers of BRAC and other Banks and introducers of the fake person of that particular account helped the ACC’s investigation officers for misleading them,” Abul Hasnat Abdul Wadud, director (legal) of the ACC and chief of the investigation committee, came up with the finding after conducting investigation in line with the High Court directive.
However, the investigation report said that it was the duty of the investigation officers to submit the investigation report before the court after unearthing the real facts of the incident. So, there is no scope to give responsibility on the bank officials and other officials for this incident.
The 23-page probe report submitted the report before the HC yesterday through its lawyer Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan.
After receiving the report, the HC bench comprising Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader fixed July 16 for hearing on the issue.
When asked about the ACC’s finding against Bank officials, Executive Vice President, Communications, Brac Bank Limited, told The Independent that they were not making any comment over the issue as the matter is now pending before the High Court.
“It is a sub-judice matter. We are not making any comment over the issue at this time,” he said.
In its investigation report, the commission said that the bank officials went in fields to find out the Abu Salek on fearing legal complexities. They (bank officials) brought Jaha Alam and produced before the investigation officers of the commission after identifying him as Abu Salek to avoid legal complexities. But, all the investigation officers except Selina Akhtar Moni did not scrutinise the documents of Jaha Alam properly and avoid their responsibility in submitting the charge sheet of the cases.
The report also suggested for punishment of those who were responsible for the “unfortunate” incident.
During yesterday’s proceedings, Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan, counsel for the ACC, admitted that there was a lack of coordination among all the sides in the cases.
Then the HC bench fixed July 16 for further hearing on the matter.
Earlier on June 27, the HC bench asked ACC to submit its internal probe report by July 11 on Jaha Alam saying: “We will look into who is responsible. The report is very important.”
On April 17, 2019, the High Court sought Anti-Corruption Commission’s probe report on Jaha Alam, a jute mills worker, who passed three years in jail whereas the real accused was at large, to see who were the responsible for his sufferings.
Earlier on March 5, in a report the ACC told the HC that the commission is not responsible for the plight of Jaha Alam, who languished in jail for three years due to a mix-up.
“Cases were filed against Jaha Alam on the basis of documents from Bangladesh Bank and Sonali Bank,” the commission made the observations in its report.
Jaha Alam, who was in jail for the last three years, instead of the real accused in 26 corruption cases, was released from prison on
February 4. Jaha Alam was arrested on February 6, 2016 after he was mistaken for Abu Salek, who is the original accused in 33 cases that the ACC had filed in 2014, over loan fraud and embezzlement of Tk. 18.5 crore from Sonali Bank.
When the ACC sent for Salek, the summons, however, went to Jaha Alam, who in turn met officials of the corruption watchdog and insisted that he was not Salek. He also told the ACC that the photo used to open the Sonali Bank account was not his either.
However, the bank’s officials still identified him as Salek, and the jute mill worker was eventually arrested in Ghorashal following the ACC’s green light.
On May 27 of the same year, he was transferred to Dhaka Central Jail 2. Despite appearing in front of the court many times since, Jaha Alam did not receive bail. Identifying Jaha Alam as Salek in 26 of the 33 cases, the ACC submitted charge-sheets, and the cases started being processed in court.
Last year, several media reports brought the matter of Jaha Alam’s innocence to the ACC’s attention, after which it investigated the matter further. The ACC found Jaha Alam’s claims of innocence to be true.
On January 28, in a suo motu rule, the High Court summoned a representative of the ACC chairman, the cases’ plaintiff, the ACC investigation officer, and two other representatives from the home and law ministries, to explain why Jaha Alam—instead of the real accused—had been in jail for the past three years. – Staff Reporter

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