Ershad acquitted

Haroon Habib

DHAKA: Gen. H. M. Ershad, the chief of Jatiya Party (JP) has been acquitted in a graft case filed against him 14 years ago. The verdict came at a time when the ruling Bangladesh National Party-led alliance is reportedly trying to bring on board the deposed leader ahead of the upcoming elections, in return for gradually withdrawing cases pending against him. The four-party alliance bagged 46 per cent votes in the last election while the Awami League alone secured 40.13 per cent and the JP 7.25 per cent. The special court for Dhaka division on Thursday acquitted Gen. Ershad of illegal withdrawal of Taka 2,76,324 of income tax money without submitting any document in favour of his action. The prosecution failed to prove the charges against Gen. Ershad, the judge remarked. Political analysts and legal experts said Gen. Ershad's acquittal has paved the way for his joining the four-party alliance.

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