Chief coordinator of banned Islamist organisation Hizb-ut Tahrir Mohiuddin Ahmed and its three members were acquitted yesterday in a case filed on charges of conspiring against the government, as the prosecution failed to prove the charges brought against them.
However, two other members of the outfit -- Saidur Rahman alias Rajib and Tauhidul Alam alias Chanchal -- were sentenced to two years' rigorous imprisonment for conspiring against the government.
Judge Majibur Rahman of the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal of Dhaka acquitted the four, as allegations brought against them were not proved.
The tribunal recorded statements of seven prosecution witnesses, including the complainant of the case.
Mohiuddin, a former teacher at Institute of Business Administration (IBA) of Dhaka University, and two other acquitted -- MA Yusuf Ali Khan and Kazi Morshedul Haque alias Plabon -- were present at the courtroom during the judgment.
Acquitted Tanvir Ahmed and the convicted duo Rajib and Chanchal remained absent, as they went into hiding after getting bail from the High Court.
The tribunal also fined Rajib and Chanchal Tk 5,000 each, in default of which they will have to serve three more months in jail.
The punishment of the fugitives will be effective from the day of their arrest or surrender, the court said while delivering the judgement.
In his judgement, the judge said Mohiuddin and three others were not FIR-named accused and the investigation officer of the case did not mention why their names were included in the charge sheet.
Moreover, police did not seize any evidence from the acquitted accused, while leaflets were recovered from Rajib and two petrol bombs were seized from Chanchal from the place of occurrence.
So, Mohiuddin and three others were acquitted while the two were given two years' imprisonment, said the judge.
But the prosecution said Mohiuddin and three other acquitted were FIR-named accused.
Asked about it, Public Prosecutor Jahangir Alam Chowdhury told The Daily Star that he tried his best to prove the charges against the accused.
According to the prosecution, a group of Hizb-ut Tahrir leaders and activists including Mohiuddin allegedly held a meeting against the government at sector-2 in Uttara on April 18, 2010.
They were also planning to topple Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her government and establish a "Khilafat State". They brought allegation against Hasina for the BDR carnage, the prosecution said.
Police recovered 50 leaflets and two crude bombs from them, and arrested Mohiuddin and five others from the spot.
Later, police filed a case against Mohiuddin and five others under anti-terrorism act with Uttara Model Police Station.
Detective Branch of police Inspector Nurul Amin pressed charges on March 24, 2013 while the court framed charges against the accused on September 27, 2016.