5 acquitted in MiG-29 graft case
A Dhaka court acquitted Biman Chairman Air Marshal (retd) Jamal Uddin Ahmed and four others of the much-talked-about MiG-29 graft case yesterday.
Judge Mohammad Abdul Majid of the Special Court for Dhaka Division gave the verdict in presence of the five accused, saying the prosecution has failed to prove the charges against them.
The four others are former defence secretary Syed Yusuf Hossain, Air Commodore (retd) Mirza Akhter Maruf, former joint secretary Mohammad Hossain Serniabat and Unique Group Managing Director Nur Ali.
Special Public Prosecutor (PP) Shaheen Ahmed Khan told reporters the accused were discharged, as the process of charge framing and case filing was flawed.
Anti-Corruption Commission Assistant Director Kazi Shamsul Islam, also the investigation officer, did not seize any of the eight MiG-29 jet fighters as evidence to prove the charge.
He also showed serious negligence in investigating the case, the PP added.
Asked about the verdict, Jamal Uddin said the case was filed to harass them.
“The case was meant to harass us but we got justice from the court,” said Nur Ali, another acquitted.
An official of the now-defunct Bureau of Anti-Corruption filed the case against Sheikh Hasina and six others in 2001.
According to the case statement, Hasina while in power, in collaboration with the other accused, purchased eight MiG-29 jet fighters from Russia in 1999, causing a Tk 700-crore loss to the state exchequer.
A special court framed charges against Awami League chief Hasina and five others in 2008.
The High Court quashed the proceedings against Prime Minister Hasina last year.