The death reference of the 10-truck arms haul cases in which 14 people including former ministers and intelligence officials were sentenced to death has been sent to the High Court for scrutinising the verdict.
The death reference section of the apex court today received the papers and documents of the case along with the copy of verdict from the staff of the Chittagong court, which delivered the judgement on January 30.
The court handed death penalty to 14 including then industries minister Motiur Rahman Nizami and then state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar for smuggling in 10 truckloads of firearms in 2004.
The section will now register the case as a death reference and prepare a paper book containing all the documents related to the case, SC registrar AKM Shamsul Islam said while talking to The Daily Star today.
After that, the HC will hear arguments on the death reference for passing a final judgement, he said.
The convicts of the case can file separate appeals with the HC challenging their convictions in 30 days from the date of delivery of the lower court judgement, the registrar said.
The HC will hear the death reference and the appeals of the convicts simultaneously, he said.
Two cases -- one for smuggling firearms while another under the Arms Act -- had been lodged with Karnaphuli Police Station a day after the 10 truckloads of arms and ammunition were seized at the jetty of state-owned Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Ltd in the early hours of April 2, 2004.
The seized items included 4,930 sophisticated firearms, 840 rocket launchers, 300 rockets, 27,020 grenades, 2,000 grenade-launching tubes, 6,392 magazines and 11.41 million bullets.
The 14 convict also get life term imprisonment in the case filed for possessing firearms illegally.