Prashanta Kumar Halder – a fugitive banker and businessman who is also known as PK Halder and accused in around three dozen cases of financial crimes such as money laundering – and his five associates are likely to be repatriated by the Indian authorities by March next year.
The six are currently facing trials in India after being arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), a central intelligence agency responsible for fighting economic crime, in West Bengal in May this year.
Anti-Corruption Commission's (ACC) lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan told The Business Standard that ever since PK Halder was arrested in India, efforts have been on to bring him back to the country.
"In that connection, the ED of India expects that he [Halder] may be returned [to Bangladesh] by March next year. There are some formalities over the cases filed there. They are likely to reach a certain stage by next March. Only then, India may return him," he added.
ACC Secretary Md Mahbub Hossain told TBS, "Earlier in a discussion, a possible time in March next was mentioned by the Indian side. It may be before or after that time.
"The Indian authorities have promised to return PK Halder as per the prisoner repatriation agreement."
PK Halder and the others were produced in the CBI Special Court of Kolkata for the ninth time on Thursday.
After hearing both sides, CBI Special Court-4 Judge Bidyut Kumar Roy ordered keeping the accused in jail until producing them in court on 17 November, reports the daily Prothom Alo quoting ED lawyer Arijit Chakraborty.
The court said, if necessary, ED investigators can interrogate them during their stay in jail.
The lawyer said no new information was obtained from the interrogation of the accused while they were in jail or any new property was seized. Right now, five male accused including PK Halder are in Presidency Jail while the lone female accused is in Alipore Central Jail.
The ED lawyer said efforts are underway to return PK Halder under the extradition agreement between India and Bangladesh.
The five others who have been arrested in India are PK Halder's brother Pranesh Halder, Swapan Mistry alias Swapan Maitra, Uttam Mistry alias Uttam Maitra, Imam Hussain alias Eamon Halder and Amana Sultana alias Sharmi Halder.
Testimony recording against Halder begins in Dhaka
Testimony recording began on Thursday against 14 people, including former managing director of Global Islami Bank PK Halder, in the case filed on charges of accumulating wealth illegally and money laundering.
On the first day of the hearing, Salahuddin, a deputy director of the Anti-Corruption Commission and the plaintiff of the case, testified at the court of Judge Mohammad Nazrul Islam of Dhaka Special Judges' Court-10.
The court has fixed 13 October for the interrogation of the plaintiff.
On 8 September, the court framed charges against Halder and 13 others in a case filed for laundering Tk80 crore to Canada and amassing wealth worth Tk426 crore illegally.
The other accused in the case are – Lilabati Halder, mother of PK Halder, Poornima Rani Halder, Uttam Kumar Mistry, Amitabh Adhikari, Pritish Kumar Halder, Rajiv Som, Subrata Das, Anang Mohan Roy, Swapan Kumar Mistry, Avantika Baral, Shankh Bepari, Sukumar Mridha and Anindita Mridha, daughter of PK Halder.
Among them, Avantika, Shankha, Sukumar and Anindita are in jail and pleaded not guilty during the charge framing.
According to case dockets, PK Halder took Tk3,500 crore from four financial institutions - International Leasing and Financial Services, People's Leasing and Financial Services, FAS Finance and Investment Limited and Bangladesh Industrial Finance Company (BIFC) - in Bangladesh.
Later, as the money was not returned, the institutions faced difficulties in returning the money to their customers, the dockets added.