San Salvador, Sept 15 (AP/UNB) — Salvadoran prosecutors on Friday sought the extradition of former President Mauricio Funes and three family members on corruption charges.
Funes, the relatives and ex-officials are accused in connection with the alleged embezzlement of $351 million in public funds.
Funes and his family have been living since 2016 in nearby Nicaragua, which granted them political asylum. He denies wrongdoing.
The extradition petition was filed with the judge overseeing the investigation and, if approved, the request would be referred to the Foreign Relations Ministry. There is no fixed timeframe for the process.
The extradition request came a day after a separate investigation was begun into the alleged diversion of $10 million donated by Taiwan during Funes' 2009-14 government. The money was purportedly transferred from the Foreign Ministry to the presidency and used for political campaigning by Funes' party.
Earlier this week, ex-President Tony Saca of the Arena party was sentenced to 10 years in prison for embezzlement and money laundering.
Dhaka, Sept 14 (UNB) – BNP has reportedly hired firms to lobby the Trump administration on its behalf ahead of the upcoming elections in Bangladesh, reported the Politico.
Abdul Sattar of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has hired Blue Star Strategies and Rasky Partners to lobby the Trump administration, it said.
“Blue Star Strategies will engage in message development and narrative; outreach to elected and appointed U.S. Executive Branch officials; outreach to U.S. Congress; International Financial, Health, Labor, Human Rights, Women's Empowerment and Election Monitoring Organizations; Public Policy Institutions in the U.S.; former U.S. officials and ambassadors; the private sector and diaspora community,” Politico, a US media house, reported quoting a Justice Department disclosure.
The contract with Blue Star is worth $20,000 a month in August and $35,000 a month for the rest of the year. Rasky Partners is working as a subcontractor to Blue Star; its cut of the money is $10,000 a month in August and $15,000 a month for the rest of the year.
Contacted, BNP spokesman and party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said he is not aware of it. ‘I think it’s rubbish news. I don’t have any idea about it.”
A ruling party leader said BNP is doing it instead of going to people's doors in the country.
"I thought from previous failed attempts, they’ll refrain from doing such things but unfortunately they are not taking lessons from their own mistakes," he added.
Dhaka, Sept 14 (UNB) – BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed on Friday said the government is deceiving people by talking about formation of an election-time government in mid-October as there is no such provision in the current Constitution.
“There’s no provision in our Constitution for the formation of any election time-administration. The government is talking about it to confuse people. It’s nothing but a deception,” he said.
The BNP leader came up with the remarks while speaking at a discussion arranged by Bangladesh Youth Forum, a pro-BNP platform, at the Jatiya Press Club.
Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, said the then BNP government in 1996 included the provision of election-time interim government in the Constitution through the 13th amendment.
“But you (govt) revoked the polls-time interim government system through the 15th amendment to the Constitution. “So, you are now trying to mislead people and create confusion among them by talking about the formation of an election-time government.”
The BNP leader said there will be no difference between the current government and the government’s proposed election-time small cabinet as it will be formed with the same people who are now in the current cabinet.
Referring to ruling party leaders’ comments that the election-time small cabinet will only do routine works, he said no such provision is also there in the current Constitution.
“They also say the Election Commission will exercise the executive power during the polls. Where have you found such a provision in the Constitution? It is not written in the Constitution that the executive power will go to the Election Commission during the polls. These are their false statements.”
As per the current Constitution, the police, administration and judiciary will remain under the government during the election.
Moudud said the government wants BNP to take part in the election under it to ensure the ruling party’s victory.
He alleged there is no atmosphere in the country for holding a fair and credible election as the ruling party is unilaterally carrying out election campaign while BNP leaders and activists are busy facing 'false ' cases.
“They (AL) need not to take any permission for their programmes as they can hold it anywhere anytime as per their wish. Even, they can hold rallies at rail stations."
The BNP leader said a level-playing field must be created for holding the polls in a fair and credible manner. “The attitude of the government would have been different had it wanted a fair election.”
Terming the government an autocratic one, he said it is very difficult to remove a despotic government. ‘Creating unity among people is the only way to ensure the fall of an autocratic regime.”
Mentioning that their party is working to create a national unity together with all other political parties, Moudud said there is good progress in it.
He said the national unity must be forged as most political parties, including the left ones, want democracy, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, people’s basic rights and voting rights to be restored. So, a unity is already there among the political parties. We’ll have to now consolidate it and take it forward.”
Moudud said they will create such a situation through forging the national unity that the government will be forced to accept their all demands and hold the next polls in a credible manner.
Meanwhile, BNP’s senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi claimed that their party’s around three lakh leaders and activists have been implicated in 3,000 ‘ghostly’ cases since September 1 last.
Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office, he also said over 3,500 leaders and activists of their party and its associate bodies have also been arrested during the period.
Dhaka, Sept 14 (UNB) - BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed on Friday said their party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam went to the UN Headquarters in New York at the invitation of its Secretary General to present the country’s “current real scenario”, not to make any complaint.
“Our secretary general didn’t go to the UN on his own. He went there at the invitation of the UN Secretary General,” he said while speaking at a discussion.
Turning down the ruling party leaders’ allegation that Fakhrul went to the UN to lodge complaints, the BNP leader said, “Our secretary general went there to depict the country’s real scenario, not to the make complaints.”
Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, said Fakhrul will also present before the UN the prevailing situation of the country, oppression and repression on opposition leaders and activists, and on common people and violation of human rights.
Bangladesh Youth Forum, a pro-BNP platform, arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club.
On September 12, Mirza Fakhrul along with party executive committee member Tabith Awal went to New York reportedly at the invitation of UN Secretary General António Guterres’.
Moudud said the UN Secretary General invited their party leaders to its headquarters as he could not mange time to meet them during his recent visit to Bangladesh.
Moudud said there is no atmosphere for credible polls in the country, though only three months are left for arranging the election. “Is it a complaint to talk about election atmosphere?”
He said the government has got nervous and envious as the UN Secretary General invited the BNP leaders to New York. “They (AL leaders) are now making unguarded remarks (on Fakhrul’s tour) out of their jealousy.”
The BNP leader said the government’s intention is very bad as it is trying to hold another ‘unilateral’ election to cling to power. “But they won’t be able to hold another 2014-like election in the country.”
He warned that that their party together with people will give the government a befitting reply on the streets by creating a national unity if it does not reach an understanding to hold the next polls under a non-party neutral administration by dissolving the current parliament and cabinet.
Cumilla, Sept 12 (UNB) – A court here on Thursday denied bail to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in a case filed over the torching of a covered van in Chouddagram upazila in 2015.
Judge of the District and Session’s Judge Court KM Shamsul Alam passed the order after hearing a bail petition moved by BNP chief’s lawyers.
Earlier on Wednesday, the court deferred the bail hearing until Thursday.
The court heard both the defence and prosecution in the morning and passed the order in the afternoon.
On January 25, 2015, a covered van was set on fire at Haiderpool of Chouddagram municipality on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway.
The following day, sub-inspector Nuruzzaman of Chouddagram Police Station filed a case against the BNP Chairperson and 31 other leaders and activists of the party over the incident.