Sikder Group Managing Director Ron Haque Sikder and his brother Dipu Haque Sikder are seeking permission to challenge their bail rejection order issued by the High Court.
The lawyer of both brothers, Sayed Ahmed Raja, filed the plea with the Appellate Division on Monday.
Earlier on July 19, the brothers filed an anticipatory bail plea with the High Court from Bangkok in the case of alleged torture and attempted murder of two Exim Bank officials. The High Court rejected the bail plea on July 20.
At the same time, the court asked the two brothers to provide 10,000 units of personal protective equipment (PPE) as fine to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund within two weeks for illegally applying for bail while staying abroad.
The plea for challenging the bail rejection order was earlier scheduled for hearing on the virtual bench of Appellate Division Chamber Judge Justice Nuruzzaman on Tuesday.
Another lawyer of Sikder brothers, Ajmalul Hossain QC, was present during the hearing on Tuesday. Attorney General Mahbubey Alam and Deputy Attorney General Biswajit Debnath represented the state during the hearing.
"The court asked the whereabouts of the convicts? In response, their lawyer said that they are abroad," Biswajit Debnath told The Business Standard.
After that, the court did not give them permission to challenge the bail rejection order. However, after the lawyer urged the court for a hearing on the regular bench, the chamber judge sent the application to the regular bench for a hearing on August 9.
How they managed to escape
Ron and Dipu escaped on the pretext of medical evacuation.
Two recommendations – one from a local medical centre and another from a foreign one – are required prior to obtaining permission from the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) for the use of an air ambulance.
In this case, ZH Sikder Women's Medical College and Hospital – owned by the Sikder Group – recommended emergency health checkups in Thailand for the two brothers. For its part, Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok recommended their admission.
Upon receiving recommendations from the two hospitals, the civil aviation authorities permitted medical evacuation for them through the use of an air ambulance of R&R Aviation Limited, a sister concern of the Sikder Group.
Government agencies, meanwhile, are now pointing fingers at one another over the escape of the two fugitives.
The two brothers – Ron Haque Sikder and Dipu Haque Sikder – came under widespread discussion when the Exim Bank authorities sued them for allegedly trying to kill Exim Bank's Managing Director (MD) Mohammad Haider Ali Mia and Additional MD Mohammad Firoz Hossain by shooting them over issues related to a Tk500 crore loan.
According to the case statement filed with Gulshan police station on May 19, the Sikder Group applied for Tk500 crore some time ago, and to discuss it, Ron Haque Sikder and National Bank Managing Director Mostak Ahmed went to the head office of Exim Bank on May 7.
They took the MD and the additional MD of Exim Bank to the site of the Sikder Group directors' mortgaged property – Adi Nawab Askari Jute Mills in Rupganj – to inspect it against the loan.
During the visit, the Exim Bank officials found the mortgage value of the property as security to be less than what had been shown in the documents.
Later, Ron asked them to visit another property, Icon Tower in Purbachal.
As the Exim Bank's MD had a scheduled meeting with the Bangladesh Bank on the day, he was in a hurry. Still, the two officials observed the project from outside at Ron's request.
While they were returning, they spotted Ron and the National Bank MD on 300 Feet Road and they stopped their car.
The National Bank MD told the Exim Bank officials that Ron was very upset as they had not visited Icon Tower.
At one stage, Ron shot at the Exim Bank MD. The bullet narrowly missed the MD. When Ron was about to shoot again, the Exim Bank MD took shelter behind the car, according to the case statement.
Later, a security guard forcibly took them, at gunpoint, to Sikder House at Banani, where Ron and his brother allegedly forced the victims to sign a paper agreeing that everything was all right with the project. They compelled the additional MD to affix his signature to the paper as a witness.