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HC rejects Nizami bail petition PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 19 May 2008

The High Court rejected the bail petition of Jama'at-e-Islami leader and former minister Matiur Rahman Nizami in the Gatco graft case on Sunday, while former ministers MK Anwar and M Shamsul Islam withdrew their bail petitions to the same court, reports

A two-member High Court bench, comprising justices Sheikh Rezwan Ali and Md Rais Uddin, began hearing the anticipatory bail petitions Sunday afternoon after the three former ministers arrived at the court to be present through the proceedings.

Barrister Abdur Razzak had earlier submitted Nizami's bail plea and advocate Mahbubur Rahman did the same on behalf of Anwar and Islam.

A large number of BNP and Jama'at-e-Islami supporters assembled at the High Court to witness the court hearings involving their top leaders.

Earlier in the week a two-member HC bench, of justices Md Mozammel Hossain and Syed AB Mahmudul Haque, had initially said it could not accept bail petitions submitted by Anwar and Islam.

Following a recent Supreme Court ruling that even the higher courts cannot consider granting bail in EPR cases, such bail petitions cannot be accepted for hearing, the HC bench said Thursday.

However, when the bail petitions were submitted later the same day to another HC bench, of justices Khandakar Musa Khaled and Mainul Islam Chowdhury, lawyers for the former ministers told reporters that the bench might hear the anticipatory bail petitions on Sunday.

Barrister Ruhul Quddus, counsel of the accused, said: " These anticipatory bail petitions have been submitted under special circumstances. The High Court doesn't ordinarily consider any anticipatory bail pleas after charge framing in an ordinary case."

"Originally, the case details didn't mention MK Anwar and M Shamsul Islam; their names were later included in the charge sheet. Therefore, the court can consider the bail petitions."

The Anti-Corruption Commission pressed charges on May 13 against detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia, her younger son Arafat Rahman Coco, Matiur Rahman Nizami and 22 others in the Gatco graft case.

The court has issued warrants of arrest against 12 people accused in the case including former ministers M Saifur Rahman, Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, Matiur Rahman Nizami, MK Anwar, M Shamsul Islam and Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury and ordered confiscation of their assets.

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