A Dhaka court Thursday deferred for the fifth time the argument hearing against Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad and others in connection with the Maj Gen Abul Manzoor murder case.
Dhaka First Additional District and Sessions’ Judge Badrul Alam Bhuiyan fixed July 18 for the hearing after public prosecutor Md Asaduzzam Roche filed a time petition citing “lack of preparation for hearing of arguments.”
Ershad’s chief counsel Sheikh Shirajul Islam told to the Dhaka Tribune: “The case was lodged 14 years after the occurrence and the name of the former president was not mentioned.”
He said Ershad was implicated in the charge sheet out of political vengeance and it took long 18 years to reach this stage of arguments. “It is apparent that the prosecution is buying time.”
During the proceedings, Ershad, Lt Col (retd) Mostafa Kamal Uddin Bhuiyan, Lt Col (retd) Shams, and Maj Gen (retd) Adbul Latif were present at the court.
According to the case documents, 28 out of 49 witnesses, including Investigation Officer Abdul Kahar Akand, testified before the court.
Maj Gen Manzoor was killed in 1981 after the assassination of BNP founder and military leader Gen Ziaur Rahman. On February 28, 1995, the victim’s brother lodged a case with Panchlaish police station in Chittagong, accusing Maj Emdadul of killing Manzoor. On July 15, the assistant police super of that time, Abdul Kahar Akand, submitted the charge sheet to the court.
The then army chief, Abu Saleh Md Nasim, and metropolitan judge Abul Hashem, gave deposition before the court on October 28, 2010.
On October 2 last year, Ershad defended himself in court, pleading not guilty.
Soon after the current government assumed power, the hearing on testimony in the case came to a standstill.