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SC clears ways for ex-army chief’s trial in defamation case

New Age Online

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Tuesday disposed of a petition filed by former army chief Moeen U Ahmed challenging a High Court order that had rejected his appeal seeking dismissal of a defamation suit against him.
Following the apex court’s order there will be no obstacle to holding trial of the defamation case against Moeen filed with the Third Joint District Judge Court in Dhaka on September 8, 2009 by former BNP state minister Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku.
Tuku also demanded Tk 100 crore in damages for the defamation, said lawyers from both sides.
The petition said Moeen U Ahmed at a gathering at the National Parade Square on March 27, 2007, alleged that Tk 20,000 crore had been plundered and were later siphoned off abroad from the energy sector during the four-party alliance regime in 2001-2005. Tuku was the state minister for energy.
Moeen moved to the Appellate Division challenging the High Court’s order that on January 24, 2010 rejected his appeal seeking cancellation of the lower court’s order which in 2010 dismissed his petition seeking injunction on the proceedings of the case.
On the day, a five-member Appellate Division bench headed by chief justice Md Muzammel Hossain disposed of Moeen’s petition that had sought injunction on the proceedings of defamation case on the ground that it was filed more than one year after he had delivered the speech.
For that reason the case against Moeen could not continue as per the law, said Moeen’s lawyer Quamrul Islam Siddique.
Tuku’s lawyer Mahbub Uddin Khokan told journalists that the case would continue in the trial court following the Appellate Division’s observation which will be given in its full order.
Moeen, who was appointed the army chief on July 15, 2005, retired on completion of his term in June 2009. He is considered a key architect of the political changeover took place on January 11, 2007.




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