The High Court will deliver its verdict on February 17 on the case filed for attempting to kill Awami League leader and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by planting a 76kg bomb at Kotalipara in 2000.
The HC bench of Justice Jahangir Hossain Selim and Justice Md Badruzzaman yesterday fixed the date after concluding hearing on the death reference (lower court documents) and appeals of the convicts against the lower court judgement on them.
Attorney General AM Amin Uddin, Additional Attorney General Sheikh Md Morshed and Deputy Attorney General Dr Md Bashir Ullah appeared for the state while Amulya Kumar Sarker placed arguments as state defence lawyer for the absconding convicts. Lawyers SM Shahjahan, Mohammad Ahsan and Mohammad Nasiruddin stood for the convicts in jail.
During hearing, Attorney General AM Amin Uddin prayed to the HC to uphold the trial court verdict saying that the convicted accused have committed a very serious and unpardonable offence.
The defence prayed to the HC to acquit their clients saying that the trial court has delivered the verdict on the basis of the confessional statement made by Huji leader Mufti Abdul Hannan.
The bomb was recovered at Sheikh Lutfor Rahman Ideal College of Kotalipara in Gopalganj on July 21, 2000. Hasina was supposed to address a rally there the next day.
Then sub-inspector Nur Hossain of Kotalipara Police Station filed the case under the Explosive Substances Act following the incident.
Criminal Investigation Department submitted the charge sheet against Mufti Hannan and 24 others on April 8, 2001, showing 83 people as prosecution witnesses.
Gopalganj District and Sessions Judge's Court framed charges against the 25 accused on July 2 the same year.
The Gopalganj court recorded statements of 40 prosecution witnesses, including the case's complainant. The case was then shifted to the Speedy Trial Tribunal for quick disposal.
The tribunal-2 in Dhaka on August 20, 2017 handed down death sentence to 10 leaders and activists of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (Huji). Besides, one was was sentenced to life and three were handed 14 years in prison. Of the accused, 13 are in jail while 11 are on the run.
The court acquitted 10 others, as charges brought against them were not proven.
Huji leader Mufti Hannan was found guilty but was acquitted as he was executed on April 12, 2017 at Kashimpur High-Security Prison for killing three people and injuring former British high commissioner to Bangladesh and a dozen others in Sylhet in 2004.