Court sets Oct 10 for Aug 21 grenade attack verdict
Published : 18 Sep 2018, 15:47:17
The special court, trying the August 21, 2004 grenade attack case, on Tuesday set October 10 for delivering its verdict wrapping up the protracted trial of the attack that killed 24 people and wounded some 500 others.
“The trial process continued for a long time and now reached a stage . . . the hearing process has ended today,” judge Shahed Nuruddin of Dhaka’s 1st Speedy Trial Tribunal pronounced after 118 days of argument.
He added: “The date for delivering the verdict is on 10-10-2018.”
Nuruddin said during the long period he tried to realize with “my heart” the entire episode and observed as well the accused present on the dock “sitting in my judge’s chair”.
“The judgment and order will be delivered taking into cognizance the entire episode of the case and reviewing the legal aspects,” the judge said.
Assailants carried out the attack with military hardware “Arges grenades” on an anti-terrorism rally of the then main opposition Awami League while its president and incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was visibly their prime target but she narrowly escaped the assault sustaining permanent hearing impairment.
The president of Awami League’s women front and late president Zillur Rahman’s wife Ivy Rahman were among who died while many survivors were crippled for life.
Fifty two people were held accused in the case while prosecution suggested an influential quarter of the then BNP regime masterminded its shocking plot engaging militant outfit HuJI and subsequently made desperate efforts to protect the assailants.
A total of 31 accused including two former ministers faced the trial in person while 18 including BNP senior vice president and ex-premier Khaleda Zia’s elder son Tarique Rahman were tried in absentia.
Rahman, now in London, and 17 others including several intelligence officials were earlier declared “absconding” as they were on the run to evade justice.
Eight suspects including three former police chiefs were on bail as the trial was underway while the court today scrapped their bail and ordered their confinement in jail with due facilities they deserved under law.
Three of the accused including top HuJI leader Mufty Abdul Hannan, however, were by now executed after trial in other cases.-BSS