A Dhaka court yesterday granted about three months' time to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for further probe into the murder of Major General Abul Manzur.
The First Additional District and Sessions Judge's Court also exempted former military dictator and prime accused of the case HM Ershad from personal appearance before the court until the further probe is completed.
Pleading for the exemption, Sheikh Serajul Islam, counsel of Jatiya Party Chairman Ershad, told the court that it was not certain when the probe would be completed.
"So, my client [Ershad] should be exempted from personal appearance until the further probe concludes," he argued in presence of Ershad.
Earlier, the same court on February 27 gave the order for the additional investigation but the CID could not make any headway in around last two months.
Yesterday, investigation officer Abdul Kahar Akond, special superintendent of the CID, submitted a petition seeking three months' additional time to complete the further probe.
Kahar said he needed the time as he could not trace the whereabouts of Gen Manzur's wife to record her statement.
Judge Khondker Hasan Md Firoz then granted 83 days for completion of the task and asked the CID to come up with the probe report on or before July 15.
Manzur, a sector commander of the Liberation War, was killed at Chittagong Cantonment on June 1, 1981, just two days into the assassination of the then president Ziaur Rahman.
Earlier, February 10 had been fixed for delivering the verdict of the case. However, the judge, who fixed the date, was transferred just a few days before the day. The case has so far seen 22 judges since it was filed on August 28, 1995.
Besides Ershad, two other accused Maj (retd) Kazi Emdadul Haque and Lt Col (retd) Mostafa Kamaluddin Bhuiyan were present in the court.