Indictment hearing now July 3
A Dhaka court on Wednesday fixed July 3 as the new date for starting the charge harming hearing against BNP acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and 45 other accused in an arson case.
Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Erfan Ullah passed the order after a section of defence lawyer submitted separate petitions seeking deferment of the hearing.
In the petitions, the lawyers said most of their clients failed to appear before the court due to various reasons even though they got bail in the case. So, they sought the deferment of the hearing.
Among the 46 accused, Fakhrul and 13 other opposition leaders were present in the courtroom while Jamaat-e-Islami acting ameer Moqbul Ahmed and three leaders of Islami Chhatra Shibir are on the run.
Five opposition lawmakers - MK Anwar, Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon and Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Annie of BNP, Andalib Rahman Partha of Bangladesh Jatiya Party and Col Oli Ahmed of Liberal Democratic Party - could not appear before the court as they were busy with the ongoing parliament session.
Another accused BNP leader Sadeque Hossain Khoka was sick today while the rest 22 accused could not appear before the court as they are in jail in different other cases.
Earlier on June 13, the court set June 20 (Wednesday) for charge framing hearing after scrutinising the case documents and other relevant papers.
Police filed the case against the accused hours after a vehicle was set ablaze near the prime minister's office during hartal hours on April 29.
On May 10, detectives pressed charges against Mirza Fakhrul and 45 others in the arson case.
All the accused got bail in the case on June 7 and 14