The death reference as well as the documents of the much-talked murder case in which six militants were sentenced to death for killing former USAID official Xulhaz Mannan and his friend Khandaker Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy reached the High Court for the examination of the trial court verdict.
Special Officer of the High Court Md Saifur Rahman confirmed the matter on Tuesday (September 14). According to him, officials of the trial court concerned brought the documents of the case, including the judgment, to the HC. The officials concerned of the HC received the documents.
The HC authorities will now prepare paper books for hearing on the death reference, said Saifur Rahman.
If a lower court sentences any person to death in a case, its judgment is examined by the High Court through hearing arguments for confirmation of the death sentence.
The documents and judgment of the murder case reached as death reference to the High Court from the lower court in 13 days after the latter delivered the verdict. The documents and judgment reach as death reference as per Section 376 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
On August 31, Judge of the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal of Dhaka Md Majibur Rahman sentenced to the six members of banned extremist group Ansar Al Islam to death for killing the LGBT rights activist Xulhaz and his theatre activist friend Tonoy in 2016.
The convicts are: Syed Mohammad Ziaul Haque alias Major (sacked) Zia, Akram Hossain, Mozammel Hossain Saimon, Arafat Rahman Siam, Sheikh Abdullah alias Jubair and Asadullah alias Foyzul. The court also fined the convicts Tk 50,000 each.
The court, however, acquitted Sabbirul Haque Chowdhury and Junaid Ahmed alias Maulana Junaid.
Zia, Akram, Sabbirul and Junaid are on the run, while Mozammel, Arafat, Abdullah and Asadullah are behind bars.
In the verdict, the judge observed that there was no scope for showing mercy to the convicts as their crimes were heinous.
On April 25 in 2016, Xulhaz, the founder of Bangladesh’s first and only LGBT-themed magazine Roopbaan, was hacked to death in his home at Kalabagan in Dhaka along with his friend.
Minhaz Mannan Emon, Xulhaz’s brother, filed a murder case with Kalabagan Police Station that day accusing unidentified assailants.