Thursday, February 19, 2009

National Commission to examine CTG's actions?

Read an interesting piece from weekly PROBE Magazine.

There is all likelihood of a National Commission being formed to investigate the activities of the caretaker government led by Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed in the years 2007 and 2008. The commission will look into the actions of the President and the advisors of that time as well as the appointments to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the legality of the ACC’s orders. It will identify persons responsible for the arrest and harassment of politicians, the imposing of various laws, the freezing of accounts, the confiscation of millions and millions of taka and interference into the civil administration by various quarters.

There has reportedly been an informal understanding between the government and the opposition regarding the formation of this commission. The commission may even look into the legal basis and justification of the last two years of government and make a report on this matter accordingly. The commission is likely to accord priority to the Anti-Corruption Commission, investigating its activities over the last two years and will come up with recommendations to ensure the accountability of ACC. In this light, the government may proceed towards a restructuring of the ACC. As they enjoy constitutional posts, the main persons of ACC may be asked to resign.

BNP’s formal proposal to impeach the president, statements made in parliament by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil and AL presidium member Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, as well as statements on this issue made in various places by BNP leader Barrister Moudud Ahmed, all give clear indication of a consensus among politicians regarding the formation of this commission.
A certain technocrat who has been playing an active role in BNP’s politics in recent times is active regarding the forming of this commission.

A senior leader of Awami League has indicated that the proposal for this National Commission will be raised shortly when a debate begins in parliament over the fate of the orders passed during the rule of the caretaker government. However, this week sees a flurry of foreign dignitaries in the country and so the National Commission move may be put on ice for a bit, to avoid disapproval of the visitors.

In the meantime, politicians in parliament have identified 13 areas of the caretaker government which warrant investigation. These include:

1. Using the government administration to harass people’s representatives;
2. Defaming politicians and businesspersons by providing the media with their names based on allegations of corruption. (Not a single case was filed against those on the last list of 80 issued by the Anti-Corruption Commission, though their names were published in the media, dealing a blow to their dignity and position in society);
3. Placing the politicians under mental pressure by harassing, arresting and convicting innocent members of their family;
4. Torturing the arrested persons into making false confessions and putting pressure on the politicians to be witnesses against each other in court. The commission will identify those responsible for such directives;
5. Running the country for two years without any legal basis; violating the Constitution and human rights;
6. Killing 237 persons without any trial;
7. Imposing ordinances without any legal authority;
8. The Anti-Corruption Commission’s arresting the two main political leaders of the country on grounds of corruption, incarcerating them for almost a year without trial and then releasing them as not guilty;
9. The transparency of the appointments and activities of members of the task force formed in the name of fighting corruption;
10. Attempting to form a “King’s Party” using government funds and manpower;
11. Legal and administrative justification of appointing 12 of the 18 directors of ACC from the security forces;
12. The legality of forcefully extracting funds from businesspersons and transferring this to the state treasury;
13. Transparency of the special tribunal set up to accord punishment to politicians and allegations of persons of different professions influencing the functioning of the court.

The commission is likely to look into these matters.

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