Graft case: Former military ruler Ershad acquitted
Last Updated: Sunday, June 19, 2011, 20:46
Dhaka: In a major relief for Bangladesh's former military ruler HM Ershad, a court on Sunday acquitted him in a graft case filed in 1995.

Judge Mohammed Zahurul Haque of the Senior Special Judge's Court acquitted Ershad, the chief of the Jatiya Party which is aligned with the Awami League-led ruling grand alliance, after the investigation officer of the case submitted its final report, said Star online, the website of The Daily Star today.

In a case filed on September 9, 1995, it was alleged that Ershad during his tenure as the Bangladesh's president had transferred an illegal income of USD 10 million to a foreign bank account of Mariam Mamtaj, a co-accused in the case, the report said. Mamtaz was also let off.

Ram Mohan Nath, the Deputy Director of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), on February 23 submitted a probe report to Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court.

Nath said he had failed to gather information about the money transfered to the Mercantile Bank in Hongkong.

Ershad, who was ousted on December 6, 1990 following a mass uprising against him, said he had "got justice finally in the court".

"It has been proved again that all the cases were filed against me due to political reasons and to malign my image," said the Jatiya Party chief, who served as the sixth Chief of Army Staff of Bangladesh Army and later as Chief Martial Law Administrator from 1982-1986.

"The government did not withdraw my case on political grounds. It was the court that declared me innocent in the case," Ershad was quoted as saying by his political secretary Sunil Shovu Roy.

Ershad, an accused in 17 other criminal cases, was earlier acquitted and discharged of several other criminal cases as the prosecution failed to prove the charges against him.


First Published: Sunday, June 19, 2011, 20:46

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