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SC asks to dispose of Ershad’s radar graft case

  • Published at 02:22 pm March 20th, 2017
  • Last updated at 02:23 pm March 20th, 2017
SC asks to dispose of Ershad’s radar graft case
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has upheld its previous order of scrapping a High Court decision to record the depositions of 26 witness accounts, which had not been recorded in the radar purchase corruption case against Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad. A three-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha has passed the order, dismissing a review petition filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission on Monday. The trial will now resume, with both sides presenting their arguments, and be disposed of on the basis of the 12 already recorded witness statements, out of 38, in the case. On November 24, 2016, the High Court had ordered the lower court to complete recording depositions of the remaining 26 witnesses and the trial as well, and submit a report before it by March 31, 2017. The order was issued after Anti-Corruption Commission moved a petition to resume depositions. Later, another accused in the case, former air force chief Sultan Mahmud, petitioned the appeals court and the High Court order was scrapped. The ACC then moved a petition to review the Supreme Court decision, which was rejected on Monday. After the appeals court decision, the deadline of finishing the trial will not be limited to March 31, said ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan. The case was filed against five people on April 4, 1992 by the then Anti-Corruption Bureau. The accused were Ershad, Mahmud, Air Vice Marshal (retd) Mamtaz Uddin Ahmed, and United Traders owner Shazad Ali and director AKM Musa. Musa has disappeared since the trial began. Shazad Ali’s name was dropped from the charge sheet when it was submitted on October 27, 1994. Charges were framed by the court on August 12, 1995. The trial was adjourned the same day and did not resume till November 2, 2010. The case accuses Ershad, in collusion with the others, of causing a loss of Tk64.04cr to the state by purchasing radar systems for Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) from the US instead of France while he was in power.
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