Khandaker Enamul Basir, who has been suspended by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for leaking information and now being probed for taking bribes, claims himself as a “victim of conspiracy”.
In a written statement submitted to the ACC through his lawyer after skipping interrogation twice, he has blamed five people, including former and current officials of the graft watchdog.
Basir, a suspended director of the ACC, has taken Tk 4 million in bribes from Deputy Inspector General of Police Mizanur Rahman, the anti-corruption agency has said.
DIG Mizanur in a television interview claimed that Basir had taken the bribes from him promising that he would be given a clean chit.
Basir also allegedly divulged information during the investigation for which he had been suspended.
Audio clips of mobile conversations between DIG Mizan and Basir were aired on television.
Basir was summoned by the ACC for questioning twice — on Jul 1, when he cited health issues and once again on Jul 10, which he skipped before sending in a written statement through his lawyer.
ACC Director Sheikh Md Fanafilya, who is in charge of the investigation, has confirmed receiving Basir’s statement.
The suspended ACC director has claimed himself as innocent and has blamed five people over the bribery scam — London-based Bangladeshi expatriate Abdul Doyas, ACC directors Kazi Shafik and Nasim Anwar, and retired ACC officials Abdul Aziz Bhuiyan and Zayed Hossain Khan.
No comments were available from them.
Bangla Tribune investigations revealed a few audio recordings between suspended DIG Mizan and expatriate Doyas, which shows the senior police officer offered as much bribe as needed to influence the ACC probe against him.
Citing the statement, Basir’s lawyer Kamal Hossain told Bangla Tribune that his client claims the audio tapes are a “conspiracy” against him.
The ACC has initiated measures against him based on the audio conversations, Basir said in the statement.
“But the audio conversation also mentions London-based expatriate Abdul Doyas, ACC directors Kazi Shafik, Nasim Anwar and retired ACC directors Abdul Aziz Bhuiyan and Zayed Hossain Khan. No actions have been initiated against them,” he wrote in the statement.
In his statement, the suspended official also provided an explanation for not appearing before investigators despite being summoned twice.
“I will be prosecuted [by the ACC]. And I came to know that I will be arrested and remanded. Besides, the ACC high ups have been saying that the bribery allegations are true. In this context, I do not find it safe to appear at the ACC,” Basir said citing ACC regulations which allow a suspect to submit written statements through lawyer.
Basir also blamed ACC high ups of a ‘smear campaign’ against him since the audio tape emerged, according to his lawyer.
“It’s being said that I have been delaying the probe report on DIG Mizan for one and half year. But the reality is I was given charge of the investigation on Oct 29 last year. Deputy Director Farid Ahmed Patwary was probing him before and DIG Mizan had also brought allegations of bribery against him after which he was suspended. Mizan has framed me in a bid to save himself. He has staged a bribery scam through audio tapes,” Basir’s lawyer Kamal Hossain said citing the statement.
Basir also claimed that actions taken against Patwary had “encouraged” Mizan.
“He had threatened me of similar consequences. Mizan used phone conversations and texts between his phone and a phone bought on his driver’s name as evidences. And the ACC is probing me based on those. I had wanted to sue Mizan for libel and filed a petition on Jul 1, but the Commission didn’t allow me,” he said.
The ACC has brought charges of divulging information during the investigation, but is yet to clarify what kind of information it is, Basir said.
The suspended official also claimed of collusion between Mizan and some ACC officials.
He said that “high ups in ACC” tried to persuade him to give Mizan a clean chit. “Mizan maintains very good relations with the high ups in ACC. I have been framed in a bid to save Mizan.”
In his statement, Basir also referred to the audio conversations revealed by Bangla Tribune. “According to the audio conversations released by Bangla Tribune, Abdul Doyas, DIG Mizan and some [ACC] directors were concerned over how to manage me. It’s heard [in the tapes] that I don’t receive phone calls and do not respond ... DIG Mizan was heard saying that he came to know from his sources in ACC that my investigation was progressing, but couldn’t get details, which proves that DIG Mizan was getting inside information from the ACC.”
Claiming himself as an honest and efficient officer, Basir said in the statement he was recruited by the Public Service Commission in 1991 as a district anti-corruption officer for the then-Anti Corruption Bureau.
“In March 2012, I was promoted to a director in the Anti Corruption Commission. After taking charge, the rate of witnesses’ appearances increased to 54 percent from 27. The rate of case disposals has also gone up,” Basir’s lawyer said citing the statement.