SC starts to hear convicts' appeals | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, October 05, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, October 05, 2009

Bangabandhu Murder Case

SC starts to hear convicts' appeals

The Supreme Court yesterday started hearing the appeals of the five convicts, who challenged their death sentences in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman assassination case.
A five-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Justice Md Tafazzal Islam concluded the first day's hearing on the appeals yesterday and adjourned the proceedings till 9:30am today.
The five convicts -- dismissed army personnel Syed Farooq-ur Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Mohiuddin Ahmed, AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed, and Bazlul Huda -- who are in jail now, filed the appeals with the SC in October, 2007.
The hearing began at 9:45am at the jam-packed courtroom.
Barrister Abdullah-al Mamun, counsel for Bazlul Huda and AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed, made submissions to the court, saying the confessional statements of accused Farooq-ur Rahman, Sultan Shahriar and AKM Mohiuddin were not acceptable.
He said the then High Court judge Md Ruhul Amin in his judgment did not accept the confessional statements of the three accused as the magistrate recorded their statements without following due legal procedure.
Mamun also told the court that there are contradictions in the judgments of the three HC judges.
Of the judges, Md Ruhul Amin upheld death penalty of 10 convicts, Justice ABM Khairul Haque of 15 and Justice Mohammad Fazlul Karim of 12. The trial court had earlier sentenced 15 people to death in the case.
Mamun said Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was killed along with most of his family members as a result of a mutiny in the army but the trial of the case was not held under the army act.
The statements of several witnesses in this case are contradictory and the delay in filing first information report after the incident is not logical, he said.
Besides, there is no evidence of any conspiracy behind the murders and the third HC judge in his verdict considered the matters of six accused excluding the other nine, said Mamun, who is expected to continue submission to the court today.
The court will hear today Farooq-ur Rahman's application requesting the SC not to allow the state counsels to place arguments during the hearing for making delay in submission of the concise statements against the appeals.
On August 23, chief state counsel advocate Anisul Huq submitted to the SC five concise statements as summary of the case.
Meanwhile, the government has appointed a panel of 17 lawyers to represent the state in the case.
Sources said the law ministry has already sent appointment letters to eight lawyers while the rest will be served with letters today.
The lawyers are -- Anisul Huq, Abdul Matin Khasru, Nurul Islam Sujan, Yusuf Hossain Humayun, AFM Mesbahuddin, Toufique Newaj, Ajmalul Hossain, SM Rezaul Karim, Sheikh Fazle Nur Taposh, Mosharraf Hossain Kajal, Md Jahangir Hossain Salim, Abu Zafar Siddiqui, Rabiul Alam Budu, Towfika Karim, Momtajuddin Mehedi, Nafis Ahmed and Imtiaj Uddin.
Anisul Huq will lead the panel as the chief state counsel, added sources.
After the first day's hearing, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told reporters at his office that the followers of Bangabandhu's killers might launch an attack on the court.
He said security measures in and around the court should be beefed up to continue the trial proceedings without any obstruction.

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