DGHS driver gets 30 years in illegal arms case
A Dhaka tribunal yesterday sentenced Abdul Malek, a former driver of the Directorate General of Health Services, to 30 years' rigorous imprisonment in an arms case.
Judge Md Robiul Alam of the Metropolitan Special Tribunal-4 of Dhaka handed down the sentence in presence of the convict in a packed courtroom, Assistant Public Prosecutor Salahuddin Howlader told The Daily Star.
Malek was sentenced to 15 years for possessing firearms and another 15 years for possessing ammunition, but the punishment will run concurrently, the judge said.
It is very unusual for a fourth-grade government employee like Abdul Malek to possess illegal arms, the tribunal observed in the judgement.
The judge also observed that the "exemplary punishment" was meted out to Malek so that no government employees could even consider possessing illegal arms.
The accused could not show any licence or documents in support of the firearms and ammunition which were seized from his possession, the judgement said.
It is evident to the court that the accused was involved in illegal activities with the illegal arms as there is otherwise no reason to possess the illegal arms, the judge continued.
In the verdict, the judge said the prosecution was able to prove the charges against Malek.
During a raid, a team of Rab on September 20 last year arrested Malek from Kamarpara area under the capital's Turag Police Station, along with a foreign-made pistol, a magazine, five rounds of bullets, fake currency worth Tk 1.5 lakh, a laptop and a mobile phone.
The next day, Alomgir Hossain, an inspector of Rab-1, filed a case with Turag Police Station under the Arms Act.
Investigation Officer Mehedi Hasan Chowdhury, also a sub-inspector of Rab, on January 11 submitted the charge sheet against Malek to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court of Dhaka in the arms case.
On March 11, the Metropolitan Special Tribunal-1 of Dhaka framed charges against Malek in the case.
Dhaka Metropolitan Public Prosecutor Abdullah Abu said the prosecution was satisfied over the judgement in the case.
However, defence lawyer Md Shahinur Islam said, "We have been denied justice.
"We will challenge the verdict at a higher court," he added.
MALEK'S REACTION ON JUDGEMENT
While being taken out of the courtroom, Abdul Malek expressed his strong dissatisfaction over the judgement.
"Rab did not find anything in my house," he said.
"Rab has framed me in a false case, I will go to a higher court for a fair trial," he shouted at the journalists.