The High Court on August 13 will deliver verdict on the death references and appeals in sensational Narayanganj seven-murder cases.
The bench of Justice Bhabani Prasad Singh and Justice Mustafa Zaman yesterday fixed the date for delivering the judgment after concluding the hearing on the death references and appeals in two cases.
The judges heard arguments from the state and the defence counsels for 33 days. The hearing began on May 22, Assistant Attorney General Bashir Ahmed told The Daily Star.
If a lower court sentences any person to death, its judgement is examined by the HC through hearing arguments for confirmation of the death sentence. The case documents and the judgement reach as death reference to the HC from the lower court in seven days after the verdict is pronounced.
During the hearing, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam prayed to the HC to uphold the trial court judgment in the cases in which 26 people, including 16 former Rapid Action Battalion members, were sentenced to death and nine others jailed.
He said the offence had been committed by the accused Rab personnel in exchange for money paid by former ward councillor of Narayanganj City Corporation Nur Hossain.
He said call detail record clearly proved that Nur Hossain and Rab official Tareque Sayeed Mohammad (now dismissed) constantly maintained active communication with the killing squad led by Maj Arif Hossain (now dismissed) and Lt commander Masud Rana (now dismissed).
Therefore, the trial court verdict does not require any interference by the HC, the attorney general said.
AAG Bashir Ahmed argued that Nur Hossain, Tareque Sayeed, Arif Hossain and Masud Rana were in the commanding position in committing the incident of killing seven innocent people.
The brutal and gruesome murder was committed in a preplanned way, he said, adding that death is the appropriate sentence for them.
Defence counsels -- advocate Munsurul Hoque Chowdhury, advocate SM Shahjahan, advocate SM Abdul Mobin and advocate Ahsan Ullah -- placed arguments defending the accused.
Citing different grounds, they also prayed to the HC to acquit their clients of the seven-murder charges.
On January 16, a Narayanganj court found 35 people, including 25 former Rab officials and expelled ruling Awami League man Nur Hossain, guilty of abduction and murder of seven people and destroying evidence in April 2014.
The court handed down death penalty to 26 people, including 16 former Rab members, and jailed nine others for various terms.
The bodies of seven people, including Narayanganj City Corporation councillor Nazrul Islam and senior lawyer Chandan Sarker, were found floating in the Shitalakkhya river after they were abducted on April 27, 2014.