Pak revenue official made Osama pay Rs 50,000 bribe

Osama Bin Laden

Even the world's most wanted terrorist could not escape the bribery dragnet. Osama bin Laden's safe-house in Pakistan's garrison city Abbottabad was built after paying a bribe of Rs 50,000 to a revenue official, a media report today said.

The bribe was paid to the 'patwari' so that bin Laden could construct the compound with a three-storey building, a 14-foot boundary wall and an iron fence, the Urdu daily Jang said in a report.

Details of the bribe emerged after Pakistani officials translated a diary that was purportedly kept by bin Laden.

Bin Laden, 54, was killed by US commandos during a raid on the compound, located a short distance from the Pakistan Military Academy, on May 2 last year.

The compound was demolished by the Pakistan Army earlier this year. Officials found the diary along with 137,000 documents in the compound.

Bin Laden used to write in the diary every day, the report said.

The al-Qaeda chief reportedly described in the diary how he had to bribe revenue officials for constructing his compound.

The patwari, who was later arrested by Pakistani security agencies, was completely ignorant about the identity of bin Laden when he took the bribe.

The diary reportedly revealed that bin Laden was well aware of the practice of revenue officials seeking bribes and even gave his permission for paying off the patwari.

A judicial commission that investigated bin Laden's presence in Pakistan and the US raid has pointed out "weaknesses" in state institutions in its report and "delineated the poor performance" of these organisations, the Jang reported.

The commission's report is yet to be presented to the government and officials have not said whether it will be made public.

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