Sunday, 26 December 2010

Transparency International (TIB)will fight out the defamation suits against it in the courts.

The Berlin-based organisation will ironically have to turn to the courts for defending cases accusing it of maligning the courts in relation to a recent survey, which found the judiciary to be corrupt.

The international corruption watchdog's board chairman M Hafizuddin Khan told that the suits were 'unfortunate'. "The next course of action will be decided in a meeting."

In a reaction to the lawsuits, he said, "It (the TIB report) was not anyone's private opinion. We only released the survey findings."

Until Sunday, three cases have been filed accusing the TIB chairman, executive director Iftekharuzzaman and senior fellow Wahid Alam of maligning the image of judiciary.

Two of the cases were filed in Chittagong and another in Comilla.

The Comilla court issued an arrest warrant against the accused and the two Chittagong courts ordered them to appear before them — on Jan 13 before one and Jan 30 before another.

The corruption watchdog in its report 'Corruption in Service Sectors: National Household Survey 2010' released on Dec 23 said that the High Court was the most corrupt among the judiciary, which it said was most rife with kickbacks.

The survey was conducted on 6,000 households in 64 districts from June 2009-May 2010, TIB said.

The survey followed international standards, Hafizuddin claimed. "The TIB report has only revealed the ongoing corruption in the judiciary, the police and the administration."

"TIB has nothing to do if someone feels hurt," he added.

"Corruption in these sectors is nothing new. All the citizens of the country will say, if asked, how they are being suppressed by these institutions day after day."

TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman said regarding the arrest warrants, "We believe in the rule of law and will deal with them through legal procedures."

"Some person was hurt and filed a case, which does not mean that we are guilty," he added.

About the arrest warrant, he told that [TIB officials] were sure and unanimous about the report, which was based on mass opinion and experience and was conducted maintaining scientific standards.

Quoting a recent comment of Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) chairman Golam Rahman, Iftekharuzzaman said that corruption had been more acute in reality.

He claimed that the countrymen and mass media had thanked TIB for publishing the report.

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