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The two sensational cases, one filed for murder and another under the explosives substance act, lodged over the monstrous grenade attack that took place on August 21, 2004, are nearing their end despite the defense’s alleged repeated attempts for wasting time, report agencies.
“They (defence) are continuing their all-out efforts to waste time and hinder the trial process. The defence is enjoying all the legal benefits in the cases. In spite of all these, they are trying to hinder the justice. In the arguments, they are bringing out things which are not relevant at all,” said chief prosecutor and senior jurist Syed Rezaur Rahman.
The trial process of the two cases is going on simultaneously at the Dhaka 1st Speedy Trial Tribunal, where arguments for 43 accused have been completed so far. The court is scheduled to hear arguments for two more accused.
“The court has been adjourned till July 30. The total number of the accused in the case is 52. Of those, three have been executed in other cases and their names have been dropped. Of the 49 accused, 18 are yet to be arrested and being tried in absentia,” prosecutor advocate Akram Uddin Shyamal said.
Of the accused, 23 including former state minister Lutfuzzaman Babar and deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu are in jail.
The prosecutor said the court has ordered counsel for accused BNP leader Abdus Salam Pintu to argue for his client on July 30 and 31, while it has set August 1 to hear Pintu in person.
“The court has asked counsels for another accused and BNP leader and former state minister for home affairs Lutfuzzaman Babar to be ready to start their part of arguments,” Shyamal added.
Another prosecutor Farhana Reza too echoed her senior Rezaur Rahman’s allegation, saying the defence is trying to waste time deliberately from the very beginning of the trial.
While talking about the legal benefits extended towards the accused, the prosecutor said the court has appointed state defence to defend all fugitives except four.
“All the fugitives, who have been charged for maximum punishment, have got state defence to defend their cases. Only fugitives ATM Amin, Saiful Islam Joarder, Obaidur Rahman Khan and Khan Sayeed Hasan haven’t got any counsels to defend their cases,” she added.
The vicious attack was carried out on an anti-terrorism rally of Awami League, aimed at killing the front ranking leaders including its President and incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to eliminate the party leaderships.
A total of 24 AL leaders and workers including the then Mohila Awami League President and wife of late President Zillur Rahman, Ivy Rahman, were killed and 500 others were injured.
A total of 225 prosecution witnesses testified in the case, while 20 witnesses were produced by the defence.