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Bangladesh English Newspaper

Bangladesh English Newspaper

Staff Correspondent

The former energy minister maintained he never accepted any money in the form of bribe in life. He urged the present government to look into all his records to probe the accusation.

"Nobody was able to prove that I took a car from Niko."

He also said in 2005 he stood down on his own as state minister for energy. "Quitting was a mistake. But I did that out of anger."

"I will take legal advice from lawyers to move against the Canadian court. How the court had accepted the claim of Niko that it has bribed me with a car and money?"

On the deal with Niko, he said, "I did not sign agreement with Niko. The deal was signed in 2000, a year before I became minister."

"I also took legal advice whether it was possible to cancel the deal with Niko, but it was said that the deal cannot be cancelled, as it was a valid deal."

Although the previous Awami League government had initiated the unsolicited joint venture deal with Niko, the actual agreement had taken place in 2003.

In the name of developing marginal or previously used fields, Niko was given the unexplored Chhatak West gas field where Tengratila was located.

However, within a month of Mosharraf's resignation, Niko once again proved its poor skills through a second explosion at the same place of Tengratila.

Following the first blast, Mosharraf had strongly defended Niko and punished some Bapex officials who were in no way related to the disaster.

Mosharraf's bribe scam came into the limelight when a photograph of the car was supplied to the press from the government. Later, the prime minister asked him to resign.

Mosharraf was convicted in a corruption case during the rule of BNP government in early 90s, but was picked up as a state minister by Khaleda after her coming to power in 2001.

Immediately afterwards, he was seen strongly promoting a gas export proposal of US company Unocal.

Back then, sources in the Prime Minister's Office told The Daily Star, Mosharraf's resistance to pledging 20-year gas supply for Indian giant Tata's investment in Bangladesh, while advocating for export of gas to India had angered the Hawa Bhaban, the alternative powerhouse of the BNP-led coalition government.

And this led to his ouster; he was replaced by Mahmudur Rahman as energy adviser.