All 5 acquitted | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 16, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 16, 2011

Sabbir Murder Case

All 5 acquitted

Negligence of prosecution blamed


Sabbir

All five accused including Sanvir, son of Bashundhara Group chairman, have been acquitted of killing Humayun Kabir Sabbir due to the failure of prosecution in producing eyewitnesses in the much-talked-about murder case.
Sabbir, a director of Bashundhara Telecommunications Network Ltd, was killed in July 2006 and the trial started after framing of charges in January this year.
Following eleven months of proceedings, a Dhaka court yesterday delivered its verdict acquitting the accused of the charges.
Expressing dissatisfaction over the judgement, ASM Asif, brother-in-law of Sabbir and also the complainant, told The Daily Star that Bashundhara Group had threatened the eyewitnesses not to appear before the court.
Getting the certified copy of the verdict, he would appeal before the higher court.
There were 35 witnesses in the case. Of them, Sadia Akhter alias Ratri and Papiya Gayen, both sex workers, were present during the murder of Sabbir.
In their statements given to a magistrate on April 17, 2007, the two narrated how the killing took place at the Gulshan residence of Shafiat Sobhan Sanvir on July 5, 2006.
The tribunal repeatedly summoned Sadia and Papiya to appear before it for giving statements and even issued arrest warrants for them.
The prosecution and police hardly took any effective initiative to produce the eyewitnesses during the trial. They informed the court that they could not find the duo.
Judge Mohammad Motahar Hossain of the Speedy Trial Tribunal-4 yesterday delivered the verdict saying the prosecution had failed to prove the charges against the accused.
The court would have even accepted as evidence the recorded statements of witnesses who were unavailable during the trial, he said.
Sanvir, a son of Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Sobhan Shah Alam, is the prime accused in the case while Nure Alam and Humayun Kabir, security guards of Sabbir's house, and Khairul Hassan Ujjal and Shamsuddin Ahmed, bodyguards of Sanvir, were also implicated in the killing.
Khairul and Shamsuddin were present in the court as the judgment was pronounced.
The eyewitnesses also told the magistrate that following an altercation, Ujjal had pushed Sabbir to the floor and Sanvir hit the victim with a bottle on the back of the head.
The day after the killing, the body was found outside a building in the capital's Bashundhara Residential Area where Sabbir resided.
Sanvir, Nure Alam and Kabir have been absconding since the filing of the case in 2006. Shamsuddin and Ujjal, who were in prison, were freed yesterday afternoon soon after the court delivered the verdict.
This case faced many hurdles as Bashundhara Group chairman Shah Alam bribed Tk 21 crore to former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar to save his son. This came to light after the Criminal Investigation Department in 2007 started investigating the murder.
Later, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed a graft case against Babar, Shah Alam, BNP Senior Vice Chairman Tarique Rahman, Sanvir, former BNP lawmaker Kazi Saleemul Haque Kamal and three others for their involvement in the bribery. The trial in the case was stayed following a High Court order.
Yesterday, the prosecution produced 30 out of the 35 prosecution witnesses during the proceedings. Of them, only the complainant and the victim's parents told the court that the accused, including Sanvir, had killed Sabbir. The 27 others said nothing against the accused and that they had not seen the incident.
On May 12, 2008, Mohammad Arman Ali, assistant superintendent of police of CID, pressed charges against Sanvir and the four others for committing the offence.
Later, the case was transferred to two more sessions judges' courts but following a stay order from the higher court, the trial could not be started.
The case was then shifted to the tribunal on March 7 last year.

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