Hearing adjourned until July 31
The hearing on charge framing in the MiG-29 warplane purchase case against former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and six others has been adjourned until July 31.
Judge Golam Mortuza Majumder of the Special Judge's Court, Dhaka division, set up on the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban premises, fixed the next date for hearing that continued for the sixth day yesterday.
As the court sat at around 10:00am yesterday, defence counsels filed a petition for adjournment saying hearing on a writ petition for quashing the case is awaiting with the High Court.
The prosecution lawyers opposed it. The judge turned down the petition and asked the defence to start hearing.
The defence counsels have completed the hearing for quashing all charges against co-accused former BAF chief Jamaluddin Ahmed and air commodore (retd) Mirza Akhter Maruf.
The hearing for quashing charges against five accused, including Awami League President Sheikh Hasina, former army chief general (retd) Mustafizur Rahman and former defence secretary Syed Yusuf Hossain, had so far been completed.
The court fixed July 31 for hearing for quashing charges against the accused -- former joint secretary Mohammad Hossain Serniabat and Unique Group Managing Director Nur Ali.
Advocate Sahara Khatun stood for Hasina who was earlier excused from the obligation to be in courts in person during proceedings of the case.
Gen Mustafiz was represented by his lawyer as he was also exempted from appearing personally at trial proceedings in the court.
The now-defunct Bureau of Anti-Corruption (Bac) filed the case against Hasina and four others with Tejgaon Police Station on December 11, 2001, accusing them of causing a loss of Tk 700 crore to the state exchequer by purchasing eight MiG-29 jet fighters when Hasina was in power.
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 regarding their culpability, while former army chief Mustafizur Rahman, air commodore (retd) Mirza Akhter Maruf, former joint secretary Hossain Serniabat and businessman Nur Ali were implicated after investigators had found their involvement in the alleged scam.
Bac Inspector Abdullah Al Zahid submitted a charge sheet to the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court on December 11, 2001, showing 40 people as prosecution witnesses.