11 Freedom Party men jailed for life
A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced 11 Freedom Party (now defunct) members to life imprisonment in a case filed in connection with the attack on Sheikh Hasina in August, 1989.
Two cases were filed following the attack, one for attempted murder and the other for exploding bombs targeting her then Dhanmondi Road-32 home.
In the case filed for attempted murder of now Prime Minister Hasina, the judge sentenced each of the convicts to 20 years, while each of them was given life (30 years) in jail in the case filed for blasting bombs.
Sources said the convicts would have to serve 30 years in prison.
Judge Md Zahidul Kabir of the Fourth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court of Dhaka delivered the verdicts in presence of nine accused.
The court also fined each of the convicts Tk 40,000. In default, they will serve one year more in jail.
Of the convicts, Sohel alias Freedom Sohel, Golam Sarwar Mamun, Joj Miah and Syed Nazmul Maksud Murad are in jail, while Mizanur Rahman, Khandokar Amirul Islam Kajol, Md Shahjahan alias Balu and Kazi Imam Hossain are on bail.
Lt Col (retd) Khandakar Abdur Rashid, Zafar Ahmed Manik and Md Humayun Kabir are fugitives. The punishment of the fugitives will be effective from the day of their arrest.
The court acquitted Humayun Kabir alias Humayun, now on bail.
Earlier, the court recorded statements of 12 prosecution witnesses, including the complainant and investigation officers of the cases.
On August 10, 1989, activists and leaders of Freedom Party attacked the then house of Awami League President Hasina on Dhanmondi Road-32.
According to the case statement, Freedom Party members Kajol and Humayun, who is a fugitive, along with 10-12 men attacked the house with bombs and firearms.
They chanted “Faruk-Rashid Jindabad” as they left the place.
Following the incident, Zahurul Islam, a security guard of the house, lodged two cases -- one for plotting to kill Hasina and the other for hurling bombs -- with Dhanmondi Police Station.
In 1997, eight years after the attack, the Criminal Investigation Department pressed charges against 19 people, including Freedom Party leaders and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's murderers Lt Col (retd) Syed Farukul Islam, Lt Col (retd) Khondaker Abdur Rashid, and Maj (retd) Bazlul Huda in the two cases.
On July 5, 2009, charges were framed against 16 accused.
During the trial, two of the accused -- Gazi Liakat Hossain and Rezaul Islam Khan -- died, while Syed Faruk and Bazlul Huda were executed in the Bangabandhu murder case.