Charge-framing hearing on Hasina's MiG-29 case today
Hearing on the charge framing against detained former premier Sheikh Hasina and six others in connection with the MiG-29 corruption case will be held today.
Earlier on February 17, Judge Golam Mortuza Majumder of the Special Court for Dhaka Division fixed the hearing date.
The court directed the jail authorities to produce Hasina, now detained in a sub-jail at Sangsad Bhaban complex, on the scheduled date. The judge also served summons on the six other accused, now on bail, to show up on the same date.
The six other accused are former air force chief Jamaluddin Ahmed, former army chief Mustafizur Rahman, 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.
On September 6 last year, the High Court (HC) vacated the stay order that another HC bench passed following seven separate writ petitions for quashing the case. The HC order removed the legal bar to start the proceedings of the case.
According to the case filed with Tejgaon Police Station against Hasina and four top defence officials, the purchase of eight MiG-29 fighter jets during the Awami League government caused a Tk 700 crore loss to the public exchequer.
The names of Brig Gen (retd) Iftekhar-Ul-Bashar and former deputy secretary Hasan Mahmood Delwar were dropped from the case due to poor evidence while the former army chief Mustafizur Rahman, Air Commodore (retd) Mirza Akhter Maruf, former joint secretary Hossain Serniabat and businessman Nur Ali were implicated in the case after investigators found their involvement in the scam.
On December 11 in 2001, Inspector Abdullah Al Zahid of now-defunct Bureau of Anti-Corruption submitted charge sheet to Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court of Dhaka, showing 40 persons as prosecution witnesses.
Following the charge sheet, all the accused, including Hasina, filed petitions with the HC on different dates for quashing the case. Following their petitions, the HC stayed the case proceedings.
Hasina was arrested on July 16 last year following an extortion case filed by Azam J Chowdhury. The HC threw out the case earlier this month, but the Supreme Court yesterday stayed the HC order on the case.
Four other cases were also filed against her on different dates.