Nation this week
Ruling in the case filed over private satellite channel Ekattor TV allowing disgraced financier PK Halder to go live and be interviewed to put forth his side of the story in the court of public opinion, the High Court observed that no accused in a sub-judice matter should be given a platform in the media.
Halder, former managing director of NRB Global Bank, is a fugitive accused of laundering in excess of Tk 10,000 crore, in the process running multiple NBFIs into the ground. The HC also directed the Ekattur TV management to submit the video clips of the interview aired on December 28 with Halder, who managed to flee to Canada despite authorities being on his trail. "The freedom of thought, conscience and speech of an absconding accused are not allowed to be expressed freely in TV news and TV talk shows with regard to the sub-judice matter...," the HC said.
Turnover at the Dhaka Stock Exchange plunged by 38 percent or Tk 969 crore to Tk 1,577 crore on Tuesday (January 5) thanks to the wait-and-see approach adopted by institutional investors, according to market players. The development comes just a day after turnover registered a decade high at Tk 2,546 crore, after a record year.
However, DSEX, the benchmark index of the Dhaka bourse, rose 30 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 5,640 on the day. Some of the institutional investors have taken profits considering some corrections but the others are waiting for a further rise, according to a merchant banker. As interest rates in the banking sector have fallen, new funds are being diverted to the stock market, insiders believe. Among the major sectors, the non-banking financial institution, cement and telecommunication advanced while the general insurance, mutual fund and engineering sectors faced corrections. AFC Agro Biotech saw their stock price appreciate the highest on the day, almost 10 percent.
Nur Hossain, an accused in the sensational Narayanganj seven-murder case, has been sentenced to life imprisonment in another case filed under the arms act. Sabina Yasmin, judge at the Narayanganj Additional District and Sessions Judge's Court, passed the order in presence of the accused. The court also acquitted Nur and seven of his cohorts in another case filed for extortion, said Jasmin Ahmed, additional public prosecutor of the district.
The accused were acquitted in the extortion case as the charges could not be proved. Meanwhile, Narayanganj District and Sessions Judge's Court Judge Anisur Rahman passed an order to start the trial in a corruption case filed against Nur. Earlier in the day, Nur was taken to court from Kashimpur jail and was taken back to the jail after the verdict announcement. Police in 2014 filed three cases against Nur under the arms act, while he was also an accused in the Narayanganj seven-murder case and five other cases.
Bangladesh reiterated the importance it attaches to resolving outstanding bilateral issues with Pakistan, including an official apology from Islamabad for the genocide its army mainly perpetrated during the Liberation War in 1971. Dhaka also seeks completion of the repatriation of stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh, and settling the issue of the division of assets. State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam communicated the issues from the Bangladesh's side when High Commissioner of Pakistan to Bangladesh Imran Ahmed Siddiqui met him this week.
The state minister welcomed the high commissioner and highlighted that enhancing relations with all neighbouring countries is a foreign policy priority of the government. Shahriar also urged Pakistan to grant access to more Bangladeshi products by utilising the existing SAFTA provisions, relaxing the negative list and removing trade barriers. Siddiqui conveyed the very best wishes of the people and the government of Pakistan to the state minister and said he would give due diligence to advancing bilateral relations.
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