A Dhaka court accepted the supplementary charge sheet over major general Abul Manzur murder in Chittagong about 40 years ago, dropping the names of two deceased accused — former president Hussain Muhammad Ershad and major general Abdul Latif.
First Additional District and Sessions Judge Dilara Alo Chandana accepted the charge sheet on Monday and set April 6 for recording the statement of the investigating officer of the case, said the court’s bench officer Nur Mohammad Khan.
The remaining three accused in the charge sheet are retired Major Kazi Emdadul Haque, retired Lieutenant Colonel Mostafa Kamal Uddin Bhuiyan and retired Lieutenant Colonel Shamsur Rahman Shamser.
On January 12, Criminal Investigation Department superintendent of police Md Kutub Uddin filed the supplementary charge sheet against the accused named in the previous charge sheet.
The CID SP said that there was nothing new in the supplementary charge sheet and added that though Ershad and Latif were involved in the murder, their names were dropped as they are dead.
The first charge sheet was submitted on June 26, 1995, after the murder case was filed on February 26, 1995, 14 years after the killing incident because of the delay in issuing the autopsy report and the death certificate.
On 30 May 1981, the then President Ziaur Rahman was killed in an army coup in Chittagong. Abul Manzur was the then General Officer Staff of the 24th infantry division of the army based in Chittagong.
Police arrested Major General Manzur while he was on his way to hiding after Ziaur Rahman had been killed and Manzur was taken from police custody to Chittagong cantonment and was shot and killed on June 2, 1981.
Manzur’s brother, lawyer Abul Mansur Ahmed, filed a case with the Panchlaish police station in Chattogram on February 26, 1995.
On June 26, 1995, the investigating officer in the case, the then assistant superintendent police of the CID, Abdul Kahar Akand, filed a charge sheet against five people, including Ershad.
The case was pending for 19 years for various reasons. During the trial, 22 judges were engaged in phases and were all transferred for various reasons.
On January 22, 2014, the 23rd judge of the case, Dhaka’s First Additional District and Sessions Judge Hosne Ara Akhter, set February 10 of that year as the date for announcing the verdict in the case.
But on February 26, 2014, public prosecutor Asaduzzaman Khan Rochi sought further investigation into the case saying, ‘The case has not been properly investigated. As a result, many more could not be produced as witnesses.’
The court granted the state’s application and directed the CID to further investigate the case. The supplementary charge sheet was submitted on January 12 after the investigation.
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