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MiG-29 hearing deferred to May 11 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 05 May 2008

A Dhaka court Sunday deferred a hearing on charge-framing in a graft case against former prime minister Sheikh Hasina, involving the purchase of eight MiG-29 warplanes to May 11, reports bdnews24.com.

Judge Golam Mortuza of Dhaka Divisional Judge's Court, set up in the Sangsad Bhaban, shifted the date as former army chief Mustafizur Rahman, another accused in the case, failed to attend the hearing because of his illness.

Lawyers for Rahman appealed to the court to defer the hearing for a month. But state counsels opposed the move and asked the court to begin the hearing. One of the lawyers said: "Although the accused person is sick his lawyers are present. So it's possible to start the hearing."

The defence counsel said: "As per the law the hearing should take place in the presence of the accused." Earlier, the court on April 27 deferred the hearing to May 4 for the same reason.

Hasina was taken from special jail to court around 9:40am Sunday. Abdullah Al Zahid, an official of the now-defunct Bureau of Anticorruption, filed the case on Dec 11, 2001 with Tejgaon Police Station against seven, including Hasina alleging malpractice.

The case details said the government incurred losses to the tune of Tk 700 crore due to the skewed purchase of the eight MiG-29 warplanes in 1999 during Hasina's tenure as prime minister.

Hasina had appealed to the High Court in 2003 to cancel the case, which was rejected, but the court stayed the case proceedings.

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