Pilkhana Carnage: HC yet to release complete verdict
The defence and the prosecution are unable to move appeals before the Appellate Division in the sensational BDR carnage case, as the High Court is yet to release the full text of its verdict.
On November 27, 2017, the HC announced the verdict in which it awarded death penalty to 139 of the 152 accused who were earlier sentenced to capital punishment by a lower court for their involvement in the massacre during the BDR mutiny.
A total of 74, including 57 army officials, were killed during the mutiny that took place at Pilkhana headquarters on February 25-26, 2009.
The HC may take at least three more months for releasing the full text of its verdict in the biggest ever criminal case in the country's history in terms of number of accused and convicts, deputy attorney general KM Zahid Sarwar Kazal told The Daily Star on Friday.
He said Justice Md Shawkat Hossain, presiding judge of the three-member special HC bench, had written the 11,412-page judgment of the case and put his signature on every page of the verdict.
Justice Shawkat has also sent the verdict to his two other colleagues of the bench -- Justice Md Abu Zafor Siddique and Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder -- for their opinions.
After completing their parts, the two justices will return it to Justice Shawkat, DAG Kazal added.
He also said after receiving the full text of the HC verdict, the government [on behalf of the state] will move appeals before the Appellate Division against the HC verdict that sentenced the convicts to life imprisonment and jail term for different periods.
In the appeals, the government will pray to the apex court to sentence all the convicts to death, he said.
The accused who were acquitted by the HC in the case cannot get released from jail as they did not get the full text of the verdict and the case filed against them under the Explosive Substances Act is pending with a Dhaka court, he added.
Advocate Aminul Islam, a defence lawyer, said the convicted accused would move appeals before the Appellate Division against the HC verdict on them.
But, they have not been able to file the appeals as they are yet to receive the full text of the HC verdict, he said.
The defence lawyer said the trial court has so far recorded statements from around 100 witnesses out of total around 1,300 in the case filed under the Explosive Substances Act.
Finishing the trial proceedings of the case may take one more year, he added.