State appointed counsel for BNP senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman on Monday started placing arguments for his fugitive client in the August 21 grenade attack case of 2004.
Advocate AKM Akhter Hossain started his part of arguments around 1.40 pm and continued till the end of today's hearing. Judge Shahed Nur Uddin of Dhaka 1st Speedy Trial Tribunal then adjourned the hearing till tomorrow as the defence failed to conclude today.
Tarique's counsel like his other colleagues from the defence claimed his client was not guilty and his inclusion as an accused was motivated.
Earlier in the morning, advocate Mainuddin Miah, counsel for Abdul Hannan alias Mawlana Sabbir, concluded arguments for his client.
On earlier occasions, counsels for Hanif Paribahan owner Md Hanif, Md Khalil, Shah Mofazzal Hossain Kaikobad, Haris Chowdhury, Anisul Mursalin, Jahangir Alam Badar, Ratul Ahmed Babu, Mohibul Mottakin, Mawlana Liton alias Jubayer, Mufti Shafikur Rahman, Md Iqbal, and Mawlana Tazuddin concluded placing arguments for their respective clients.
Earlier, the prosecution in their closing arguments pleaded for maximum punishment for the accused in the trial.
"For the sake of justice and to meet the expectation of the justice seekers, we are pleading for maximum punishment for the accused," Chief Prosecutor Syed Rezaur Rahman said.
"The main aim of that barbaric attack was to eliminate the top leadership of Awami League including its president Sheikh Hasina and create a vacuum among the force in support of war of liberation and independence," Rahman added.
The chief prosecutor said one of the goals of the attackers was unimpeded activities of militant outfits like HuJI, Hijb-ul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiaba, Tehrik-e Jihad-e Islam and Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO) in the country.
According to the prosecution, the conspiracy behind the attack was hatched at Hawa Bhaban, Tarique's so called political office in Banani.
"Meetings were held at that office in presence of Tarique and then administration extended their helping hands to the attackers following the meetings," Syed Rezaur Rahman said.
The prosecution on December 27, 2017, concluded its arguments on facts.
The prosecution in their earlier arguments had said a total of five local and foreign militant outfits were involved in the barbaric attack, killing 24 leaders and activists of Bangladesh Awami League.
"Apart from these groups, Pakistan intelligence agency ISI and then BNP-Jamaat alliance government orchestrated the attack. The then government used Ministry of Home Affairs, DGFI, NSI and Bangladesh Police in executing the conspiracy," he added.
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.-BSS