Ershad’s Pending Case: All cleared, except two

The trials for two long running cases against former military dictator Hussain Mohammad Ershad, who died yesterday, still remain pending.

Of the two cases, one is the 1995 Maj Gen Abul Manzur muder case and another is a graft case filed in 1994, said court sources.

The Manzur murder case is now pending with the First Additional District and Sessions Judge's Court of Dhaka. It is now under further investigation by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police.

The CID is supposed to submit its probe report by August 28, after scheduling over 20 different dates to complete its probe.

Earlier, the court fixed several dates to announce the judgment in the case. But it ordered further investigation following a petition submitted by the prosecution.   

Manzur, commander of sector-8 during the Liberation War, was killed in the Chattogram Cantonment on June 1, 1981, two days after the assassination of the then president Ziaur Rahman.

A case was filed by Manzur's elder brother Abul Mansur Ahmed on February 28, 1995.

According to the charge-sheet, Ershad, the then chief of army, was named as the prime accused.

Another graft case is also under investigation. The Anti-Corruption Commission could not complete their probe since August 1994, when the case was filed.   

The case statement said that on January 11, 1984, Ershad, the then president, directed the authorities concerned to buy 50 percent of bitumen emulsion required for the Roads and Highways Department from M/s Zakir Industries for his own financial benefit.

Following the order, the authorities bought bitumen emulsion worth more than Tk 17 crores for the department.

When Ershad was compelled to step down from power as president in the  face of mass movement in 1990, he had over 33 cases filed against him.

Ershad,  who was the Jatiya Party Chairman and leader of the opposition in  parliament before he died, was acquitted and discharged from 25 other cases, as the  prosecution failed to prove the charges against him, during the BNP and  AL tenures after his fall.

He was convicted in two other cases, including the Janata Tower graft case.

All proceedings of four other cases were stayed by the High Court on different dates.

Charges  like smuggling gold, corruption in poultry farming, buying ships,  allocating Rajuk plots, buying radar, and others, were framed against Ershad  in different cases.

HM Ershad died yesterday at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka at the age of 89.

He had been suffering from various ailments, including infection in his lungs and kidneys, and was admitted to CMH on June 26 and was kept at the Intensive Care Unit.

His condition later deteriorated and he was on oxygen support on June 30.

He will be buried tomorrow with state honour, said Inter Service Public Relations.


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