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Benazir ignores ACC summons, gives written statement

Staff Correspondent
23 Jun 2024 17:16:58 | Update: 23 Jun 2024 23:45:02
Benazir ignores ACC summons, gives written statement
— File Photo

Former inspector general of Police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed did not appear before the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Sunday despite being summoned for questioning a second time. He submitted a written statement in that regard. The ACC, however, did not give clarity about the said statement.

"The investigating officers will decide whether this statement will be taken into account or not," said ACC Secretary Khorsheda Yasmeen while briefing journalists at the ACC headquarters in Dhaka on Sunday.

"The day was scheduled for Benazir Ahmed to provide his statement regarding the accusations of amassing illegal wealth. However, he did not appear in front of the commission. The investigation team will proceed with further action in accordance with the law," she added.

Furthermore, the secretary pointed out that the investigating team has issued a notice to Benazir's wife and daughters to appear before the ACC on today. If they also fail to appear within the stipulated time, then the investigating team will take further action as per regulations.

"Benazir Ahmed sent a letter to the commission on June 21 detailing his position regarding the assets in his name, as well as those of his wife and two daughters'. However, the letter did not request any additional time to appear before the commission for questioning."

According to information acquired through various sources, Benazir is currently abroad with his family and has not returned to the country yet.

In that regard, Benazir's lawyer, Shah Manjurul Haque, was also contacted, but no statement was received.

Benazir Ahmed was scheduled for questioning on Sunday while his wife and two daughters were on today. Earlier, in response to the initial summons, they did not appear and requested additional time through their lawyer. The schedule for Sunday was made in that regard.

Allegations of illegal wealth acquisition against former IGP Benazir Ahmed and his family surfaced following newspaper reports on March 31 and April 3. Following that, the ACC launched an investigation, leading to court-ordered seizures of 83 properties, 33 bank accounts, 119 land deeds, 23 company shares, and four flats in the Gulshan area of Dhaka. A formal receiver has also been appointed in this regard. The court also halted the sale and transfer of these assets.

The ACC's three-member Special Investigation Team, led by Deputy Director Hafizul Islam, is handling the probe. Benazir served as IGP from April 2020 to September 2022 and was previously the DMP Commissioner and RAB Director General. In December 2021, he was sanctioned by the US for alleged human rights abuses.