The then prime minister Khaleda Zia remained silent when she was informed about the recovery of the 10-truck arms haul a decades ago, an intelligence agency chief told a court in Chittagong, which held the trial for the incident.
"DGFI (Directorate General of Forces Intelligence) Director General Sadiq Hasan Rumi has told the court that he informed PM Khaleda about the arms haul. But she kept mum and did not take any action," Public Prosecutor Advocate Kamal Uddin said today.
He was replying to journalists' query on the court's observation about then premier Khaleda Zia's role regarding the country's largest arms recovery.
Huge cache of arms and ammunition including 4,930 sophisticated firearms of different types, 840 rocket launchers, 300 rockets, 27,020 grenades, 2,000 grenade-launching tubes, 6,392 magazines and 11.41 million bullets were recovered on April 2, 2004 at the jetty of Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Ltd (CUFL).
The firearms were meant for Indian separatist group United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) and the court today handed death penalty to five officials of DGFI and National Security Intelligence (NSI) in a proof that state agencies were involved in the smuggling of the illegal firearms.
They are: former DGFI director Maj Gen (retd) Rezzakul Haider Chowdhury, former National Security Intelligence (NSI) director general Brig Gen (retd) Abdur Rahim, deputy director Maj (retd) Liakat Hossain, ex-field officer Akbar Hossain Khan and former NSI director Wing Commander (retd) Shahab Uddin.
The then state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar was a key accused in the trial and has been awarded highest penalty for his involvement in the event.