Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina lambasted Grameen Bank founder Prof Muhammad Yunus yet again on Thursday, claiming he conspired to cancel the promised funds for construction of the Padma Bridge project.
Without mentioning Prof Yunus by name, she said: “There are some people, especially one, who had caused immense losses to the country by halting the promised World Bank fund for the Padma Bridge, just so they could cling to the managing director's post of a bank.”
Referring to the recent verdict of a Canadian court rejecting the allegations of corruption in the Padma Bridge project, Sheikh Hasina said the dignity and image of the country's people would never be tarnished by herself or by her family members.
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed out a number of crests to individuals and institutions on National Jute Day, for their contributions to the jute industry PID
"Many attempts were made to implicate me and my family members (in the allegations of corruption in the Padma Bridge project). I cannot describe in words the extent of (mental) torture that was inflicted on my sister, my son and daughter," she said.
The prime minister was addressing a programme marking National Jute Day-2017, held at the auditorium of Krishibid Institution, Bangladesh, in Dhaka.
Earlier in February, a court in Canada acquitted three business executives of charges that SNC-Lavalin Group Inc staff planned to bribe Bangladesh officials in a bid to win a $50m contract to supervise construction of the Padma Bridge.
The three acquitted in the judgment are former SNC vice-president of energy and infrastructure Kevin Wallace, former SNC vice-president of international development Ramesh Shah and Bangladeshi-Canadian businessman Zulfiquar Ali Bhuiyan.
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Jute Fair on the occasion of National Jute Day at the Krishibid Institution PID
The charges against two other accused in the case – Mohammad Ismail and Abdul Hasan Chowdhury – had been dismissed earlier.
The World Bank began an investigation into the alleged corruption in the Padma Bridge project in 2010.
It requested the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to take necessary action based on the evidence they gathered during their own investigations and from four informants, whom the court has now called "tipsters."
The World Bank also withdrew the funds it had promised for the Padma Bridge project following the allegations of corruption.