The divisional speedy trial tribunal here yesterday sentenced nine people to life term imprisonment for killing former Awami League lawmaker Momtaz Uddin of Natore in 2003.
All the nine convicts — Arif, Babu alias Babor, Faruk, Alam, Shamim, Aynal, Mithu, Aslam and Sujon — are former leaders and activists of BNP, Jubo Dal and Chhatra Dal, said public prosecutor Entajul Haque.
Judge Ekramul Haque Chowdhury pronounced the verdict in a crowded courtroom. He also fined each Tk 30,000, in default, to suffer one year more in jail.
Momtaz Uddin, who was elected MP from Natore-1 constituency (Lalpur-Bagatipara) in 1986, was stabbed to death by a gang while returning to his Milkipara home from Gopalpur Bazar by a motorbike on the night of 6 June, 2003.
Brother of the deceased advocate Abul Kalam Azad said he was not satisfied with the verdict.
“I expected that at least three of the culprits would get death sentence”, he said.
He, however, said that he would not appeal against the verdict as he already had to face ‘a lot of threats and troubles’ for getting justice in the case.
Azad had filed the case with Lalpur police station, accusing 10/12 unidentified people on Jule 7.
Later on July 19, 2003, he filed a supplementary complaint accusing 16 people, including former BNP minister Fazlur Rahman Patal.
Joydev Kumar Bhadra, ASP of Criminal Investigation Department (CID), investigated both the complaints and submitted charge sheet against eight people, exempting Patal from the charges, on January 21, 2004.
Following a no-confidence petition on the charge sheet by the plaintiff, magistrate Khandoker Waliur Rahman conducted a judicial probe into the murder and submitted his report against 15 people, excluding Patal from the 16 accused, on 30 June, 2004.
On 29 March, 2005, charges were framed in the court concerned in Natore against 13 people. The case remained stayed by the High Court for around seven years before its resumption in October last year.
Out of 13 accused, Abdur Rashid died during the trial. The tribunal in its verdict acquitted the rest three accused — Anisur Rahman, Shantu and Shukur Babu.