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Monday, July 13, 2015, Ashar 29, 1422 BS, Ramadan 25, 1436 Hijr

Canada court seeks Padma Bridge 'graft' evidence from World Bank
Published :Monday, 13 July, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 25

Ontario, July 12: A Canada court has asked the World Bank to provide evidence of its allegation of 'corruption conspiracy' in Bangladesh's Padma Bridge project.
Ontario's Superior Court of Justice ordered the bank to submit the documents of its investigation over the allegation.
 To prevent the execution of the order, the WB moved the Canadian Supreme Court, which received the petition on Thursday but did not set any date for hearing.
The case over the allegation of corruption in Padma Bridge project is pending in the Superior Court.
After charges of corruption in Padma Bridge project were levelled, Bangladesh government too wanted relevant evidence from the World Bank, but the latter did not pay any heed to the requests.
The court order has now generated fresh interest on the 'four informers.'
The defendant's lawyer said the WB had sent a complaint to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) as per the information provided by four anonymous informers.
He alleged that the RCMP investigations were based on the information provided by those informers.
The court in its order also said it had already recognised two of the four as the 'confidential informants'.
It means their identities cannot be revealed.
The World Bank alleged corruption in Padma Bridge project and began investigation in 2010.
It requested the RCMP to take necessary actions based on the evidence they got during their own investigations and from the 'informants'.
Later, RCMP gave permission to record telephone conversations of a few officials of Canadian construction firm SNC-Lavalin.
It also searched the office of the firm.
Initially, Mohammad Ismail and Ramesh Shah and then Kevin Wallace and Julfikar Bhuiyan were charged in the case.
At one point, Bhuiyan's lawyer demanded that WB submit all the findings of its investigation to the court.    
But the WB refused to take part in the court hearing saying it enjoyed impunity as an international organisation and was not obliged to submit any document to any court.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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