• Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ershad claims innocence in radar purchase case

Star Online Report
HM Ershad.
HM Ershad

Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad today pleaded not guilty and demanded justice when a Dhaka court read out charges brought against him by 12 witnesses in Radar purchase graft case.

Judge Abdur Rashid of the Special Court for Dhaka Division fixed May 29, for hearing arguments from the prosecution and defence.

Two others accused of the case -- former air chiefs Sultan Mahmud and Mamtazuddin Ahmed -- also claimed themselves innocent and demanded justice after the charges read out to them.

On April 24, a Dhaka court concluded recording statements of the 12 witnesses in the much-talked-about graft case.

The now-defunct Bureau of Anti-Corruption filed the case against Ershad and four others with Cantonment police on May 4, 1992. Abdus Sattar Sarkar, a former BAC official, pressed charges against Ershad and four others on October 27, 1994.

On August 12, the court framed charges against Ershad, Sultan, Mamtazuddin and AKM Musa, director of United Traders Ltd, on August 12, 1995.

Of them, Musa has been absconding since the case was filed.

The High Court cleared the way for trial of the case on August 8, 2006 after proceedings had been stayed for a long time. The trial resurfaced on November 2, 2010 after the case had been filed 22 years ago.

The now-defunct Bureau of Anti-Corruption filed the case against Ershad and four others with Cantonment police on May 4, 1992. Abdus Sattar Sarkar, a former BAC official, pressed charges against Ershad and four others on October 27, 1994.

According to the prosecution, Ershad in collusion with others had allegedly caused a loss of Tk 64.04 crore to the state exchequer by purchasing radars from the US instead of France for the air force while he was in power.

Ershad was accused in 21 cases including several graft cases after he was ousted from power in 1990.

He has so far been acquitted and discharged from 18 cases as the prosecution failed to prove the charges brought against him.

Three other cases including the one for murder of Maj Gen Manzur are still pending with the court.

Published: 12:31 pm Thursday, May 15, 2014

Last modified: 8:58 pm Thursday, May 15, 2014

TAGS: Jatiya Party HM Ershad radar purchase graft case

Comment Policy