Gen Mustafiz granted bail until June 2
A special court yesterday granted bail to ailing former army chief Gen (retd) Mustafizur Rahman, an accused in the MiG-29 purchase graft case, until June 2.
Judge Golam Mortuza Majumder of the Special Court for Dhaka Division, set up at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban complex, passed the order following a bail prayer by the defence.
The court also fixed June 2 for the next hearing on charge framing against detained former prime minister Sheikh Hasina, Gen (retd) Mustafiz and five others in the case.
In addition, the court ordered the authorities to allow Hasina's five counsels to meet her in the sub-jail on Saturday to consult about the case.
Gen (retd) Mustafiz was taken to the court in the morning by an ambulance from the Apollo Hospital in the city where he had been undergoing treatment. He was produced before the court in a stretcher due to his illness.
Sheikh Hasina was brought to the court at 9:40am.
As the court resumed at 9:45am, Gen (retd) Mustafiz's counsel advocate Syed Rezaur Rahman submitted the bail petition to the court on behalf of his client.
Rezaur Rahman told the court that the former army chief had been suffering from heart disease and he was brought to the court in a stretcher, as he even could not sit in a wheelchair.
According to the doctors, he needs to undergo a bypass surgery, the lawyer said adding that in this situation, taking him out of hospital might prove fatal for him.
At that point, Sheikh Hasina from the dock said, “Who will take responsibility if he dies while being taken to the court?” If that happens, a murder case will be filed, she warned.
All other accused in the case were also present in the court yesterday.
As the trial proceedings began, the defence lawyers told the judge that they would not be able to take part in the hearing until they receive necessary case documents. The defence also appealed to meet Sheikh Hasina next Saturday to discuss about the case.
Chief Special Public Prosecutor Sharfuddin Khan Mukul proposed granting interim bail to Gen (retd) Mustafiz until the next date of the hearing.
After holding hearing for nearly half an hour, the court passed the orders and adjourned until June 2. The ailing former army chief was also taken back to the hospital.
Police arrested Gen (retd) Mustafiz on May 25 at the hospital following an arrest warrant issued against him on May 20.
Talking to the newsmen later, the defence lawyer said that the former army chief is gravely ill and his movement is strictly prohibited by the doctors.
Hasina's counsels said that the AL chief told them that she did not commit any corruption rather she had saved money through purchasing the MiG-29 fighter jets, which increased the country's dignity.
They also said that Sheikh Hasina had supported the decision of the extended meeting and central working committee meeting of AL regarding the dialogue and the election.
Other five accused in the graft case are former air force chief Jamaluddin Ahmed, former defence secretary Syed Yusuf Hossain, Air Commodore (retd) Mirza Akhter Maruf, former joint secretary Mohammad Hossain Sherniabat and Unique Group Managing Director Nur Ali.
The now-defunct Bureau of Anti-Corruption (Bac) filed the case against Hasina and four others with the Tejgaon Police Station on December 11, 2001, accusing them of causing a loss of Tk 700 crore to the national exchequer by purchasing eight MiG-29 jets while Hasina was in power.