Manzur murder verdict delayed

block Court Correspondent :
A Dhaka Court will not deliver its verdict on the murder of Major General Muhammad Abul Manzur on Feb 10 as decided earlier.
The court of the first Additional District and Sessions Judge Hosney Ara Akter set the date earlier, after hearing arguments.
However, counsel Asaduzzaman Khan Rothi Tuesday told newsmen that as judge Khandaker Hasan Mahmud Firoz has replaced Judge Hosney Ara
 Akhter as Dhaka’s First Additional District and Sessions Judge’s Court, the verdict will not be decided on Feb 10 as per earlier decision of the court.
The prime accused, former military dictator and Jatiya Party chief HM Ershad, who is now special envoy to the Prime Minister, was also present at the court during the arguments.
Apart from Ershad, the others accused are Maj (retd) Kazi Emdadul Haque, Lt Col (retd) Mostafa Kamaluddin Bhuiyan, Lt Col (retd) Shams and Maj Gen (retd) Abdul Latif. All the accused in the case have been granted bail by the High Court.
Legal proceedings against Lt Col Shams and Maj Gen Latif have been stopped by an order of the High Court.
 Ziaur Rahman was shot dead by a group of soldiers on May 30, 1981 while he was President of Bangladesh.
Maj Gen Manzur was arrested by police following the murder.
According to the case details, Maj Gen Manzur was brought from police custody to Chittagong Cantonment by Maj Kazi Emdadul, where he was shot and killed on June 1, 1981.
Manzur was blamed for Zia’s assassination in Chittagong.
His brother Barrister Abul Mansur Ahmed filed a case with Panchlais Police Station in Chittagong on Feb 28, 1995, 14 years after Manzur was murdered.
Erstwhile Assistant Superintendent of Police Abdul Kahar Akand pressed charges against the accused.
But it took another 14 years for the case to reach a point of verdict due to the changes in government and request for time by the prosecution.
Prime accused Ershad, in his defence, told the court, the then government had announced on TV and radio a bounty of Tk 500,000 for the capture of Maj Gen Manzur, dead or alive.He said he had nothing to do with his death.
“Angry men were trying to snatch away Maj Gen Manzur when he was brought to Chittagong Cantonment. The scuffle led security guards to open fire.”
 “Abul Manzur was shot and injured at one point and he died while he was being taken to the hospital.” The then Secretary for Home Mahbubuzzaman testified before the investigation officer. He said Manzur was handed over to the army on the order of erstwhile President Abdus Sattar.
Ershad submitted a written statement to the special court in his defence on Oct 2, 2012. Maj Kazi Emdadul Haque also provided the court with a written statement after the case was filed.
A total 28 people have testified including the case’s investigation officer Abdul Kahar and the Army’s Chief of Staff in 1981 Abu Saleh Muhammad Nasim.