The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police has filed a supplementary chargesheet in the Major General Abul Manzoor murder case, dropping former Jatiya Party Chairman and late president Hussain Muhammad Ershad and Major General (Retd) Abdul Latif.
Since the accused duo died, the chargesheet was submitted discarding them from the charge of murder – which took place 40 years ago, said Nur Mohammad Khan, clerk of Dhaka's First Additional District and Sessions Judge's Court to reporters Friday.
He said the investigating officer of the case submitted the supplementary chargesheet on 12 January, while the next hearing on the case is slated for 25 January.
In the supplementary chargesheet, Major (Retd) Kazi Emdadul Haque, Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Mostafa Kamal Uddin Bhuiyan and Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Shamsur Rahman Shamser have been accused of the murder.
Previously, on 2 October, 2019, Ershad's lawyer Abdur Rashid informed the court about the death of his client. In an application to the court seeking Ershad's acquittal, he said the case against a deceased person cannot proceed.
On 30 May, 1981, the then-president Ziaur Rahman was assassinated in an army coup attempt in Chattogram. Abul Manzoor was then the General Officer Staff (GOC) of the 24th Infantry Division of the Army in Chattogram.
Police arrested Major General Manzoor after the assassination. On 2 June of that year, he was taken from police custody to Chattogram Cantonment and shot dead.
Fourteen years after the killing, Manzoor's brother lawyer Abul Mansoor Ahmed filed a case with Chattogram's Panchlaish Police Station on 28 February, 1995.
On 27 June, 1995, the investigating officer of the case and the then-CID assistant superintendent of Police Abdul Kahar Akand submitted a chargesheet against five people including former president Hussain Muhammad Ershad.
The case was pending for 19 years. During the trial, 22 judges were transferred.
On 22 January, 2014, the 23rd judge of the case, Dhaka's First Additional District and Sessions Judge Hosne Ara Akhter, set 10 February of that year for the verdict. The prime accused in the case, Hussain Muhammad Ershad, plus two others accused Major (Retd) Kazi Emdadul Haque and Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Mostafa Kamal Uddin Bhuiyan were then present in the court.
The trial against two other accused Major General (Retd) Abdul Latif and Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Shamsur Rahman Shamser was stayed by the High Court.
Of the total 49 witnesses in the case, 28 have given their testimonies.
On 2 October, 2012, as the testimony was completed, the prime accused Ershad defended himself and pleaded not guilty to the case. He also submitted a written statement to support his claim.